The Self and the Success of Friends
Pam Bacon, Psychology
According to social psychologists, people feel threatened by a friend's success. The results of this study suggest that a person's reaction to the success of a friend depends on how self-defining the relationship is. In Experiment 1, 47 undergraduates wrote about a personal success or a friend's success. Results revealed that in the friend condition, there was a positive association between relational self-construal scores and positive mood. In a second sample of 54 high school students there was a negative correlation between relational self-construal scores and the amount the participant denigrated the successful friend. These results suggest that whether or not a person feels threatened by the success of a friend may depend upon the organization of the self-concept.
Schmitt, Zachary, "The Self and the Success of Friends" (2008). Honors Theses. 227.