How Social Comparisons Cloud Our Thinking

It is more important for us to know that we are faring well in comparison to our peers than it is for us to ensure that we do better for ourselves. 

How good are you at your job? How successful are you in your personal life? To answer those questions, being human, you look at others to evaluate yourself. It is a natural and obvious choice to compare yourself to your peers, friends and colleagues, but it is a choice that can seriously impact your ability to make a smart decision and that could really derail your plans.


Here's why: Francesca Gino, author of Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan, points to research that shows people will choose jobs that pay them less when they are given information that triggers a social comparison. This may be hard to believe, but it is more important for us to know that we are faring well in comparison to our peers than it is for us to ensure that we do better for ourselves. 

So how do break away from this habit of making social comparisons? In the video below, Gino says we need to constantly ask ourselves questions about the information that we are using when we make decisions. 

Watch here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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