parison target. To make headway on this problem, a typology of outcomes must first be developed. Foa and Foa's ( 1974) six-fold classification of interpersonal resources may provide a useful starting point for such an endeavor.
In closing, a caveat is in order about the role of social comparison in outcome evaluation. The basic premise of this chapter is that people use comparison information to evaluate their outcomes, but this statement should not be taken to mean that outcome evaluation always depends solely on social comparison. Sometimes, the absolute level of an outcome is weighted much more heavily than its relative level in determining evaluation (cf. Walker & Pettigrew, 1984). A poignant example of this phenomenon is contained in Joseph Heller's famous novel, Catch-22:
Yossarian: "They're trying to kill me."
Clevinger: "No one's trying to kill you."
Yossarian: "Then why are they shooting at me?"
Clevinger: "They're shooting at everyone. They're trying to kill everyone."
Yossarian: "And what difference does that make?"
Preparation of this chapter was supported by funds from the National Institute of Education to the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
Abeles R. P. ( 1976). Relative deprivation, rising expectations, and black militancy. Journal of Social Issues, 32, 119-137.
Adams J. S. ( 1965). Inequity in social exchange. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 267-299). New York: Academic Press.
Albert S. ( 1977). Temporal comparison theory. Psychological Review, 84, 485-503.
Alderfer C. P., & Smith K. K. ( 1982). Studying intergroup relations embedded in organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 27, 35-65
Austin W. ( 1977). Equity theory and social comparison processes. In J. M. Suls & R. L. Miller (Eds.), Social comparison processes: Theoretical and empirical perspectives (pp. 279- 305). Washington, D.C.: Hemisphere.
Austin W. ( 1979). Justice, freedom, and self-interest in intergroup conflict. In W. G. Austin & S. Worchel (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 121-143).
Monterey, CA: Brooks/ Cole.
Austin W., McGinn N. C., & Susmilch C. ( 1980). Internal standards revisited: Effects of