Relation between subjective social class and self-efficacy: Effect of social comparison

Angélica Quiroga-Garza, Efraín García-Sánchez, Francisco A. Treviño-Elizondo, Guillermo B. Willis


Socioeconomic class is a relevant variable with regard to the process of social hierarchization; specifically, subjective social class (SSC) has been found to correlate positively with the self-efficacy of persons. In the present study, with mixed methodology and a population size of 280 participants, we attempted to replicate these results by operationalizing SSC in the two following manners: (a) through experimental manipulation --randomly requesting that participants compare themselves with those who are above or below them in a social hierarchy scale-- and (b) through measuring SSC as individual difference. The results show no effects due to experimental manipulation, but do support that SSC, measured as individual difference, positively correlates with general self-efficacy. Regarding qualitative analysis, when the participant’s descriptions of common characteristics in members of the upper and lower class were studied, we found that situational characteristics predominated (over dispositional characteristics), but with greater positive valence when describing the upper class. We conclude that SSC is an important factor in self-efficacy and that it moderates effects of social comparison.


socioeconomic class; objective social class; subjective social class; social comparison; self-efficacy; sensation of control.

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