Dissertation project: Big-Fish-Little-Pond effect and social comparison processes

PhD student: Tanja Auer, MA

Main supervisor: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Burkhard Gniewosz

Second supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Marion Reindl

Period: 10/2021 – 09/2025

Brief description:

The dissertation project analyzes the importance of different peer relationships as reference groups for social comparison processes of children and adolescents. The Big-Fish-Little-Pond Effect (BFLPE) describes the impact of social comparisons of class/school performance on students’ academic self-concept. Although the BFLPE has been investigated and confirmed many times in scientific studies, little is known about the differentiated influences of different peer relationships. For this reason, the cumulative dissertation project not only focuses on class and school as formal reference groups for the development of the academic self-concept, but also investigates the influences of informal friendship networks (cliques). With the help of methodologically adequate multi-level analyses, social comparison processes of children and adolescents are examined simultaneously.