I have spent the last few years attempting to address fundamental questions regarding behavior changes in response to more successful others: Do they encourage us to follow in their footsteps or forge our own paths? When do we integrate the success of others into our own self-concepts? How does this integration change our behavior? When do more successful others lead us to more successful in our own endeavors?
My primary line of research focuses on social comparisons and performance. In my earlier work, I focused on demonstrating that comparisons to more successful others that lead to uncomfortable or aversive feelings also lead to better performance outcomes, whereas comparisons that lead to feelings of inspiration or admiration do not. Having developed a theory of social comparison and behavior, I now focus on other aspects of social comparisons. For example, I have examined how individuals high in personal power seek and respond to social comparison information. This has important implications for individuals in organizations. Social comparisons provide information about people's relative status and abilities, and therefore the likelihood of their success at various endeavors. If individuals fail to take into account the diagnostic information offered by comparison targets, then they may be inaccurate in their estimates of risk.
Other lines of research include work on interracial interactions and the academic consequences associated with being a first-generation college student.
- Applied Social Psychology
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Interpersonal Processes
- Motivation, Goal Setting
- Organizational Behavior
- Persuasion, Social Influence
- Prejudice and Stereotyping
- Self and Identity
- Social Cognition
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- Johnson, C. S., Olson, M. A, & Fazio, R. H. (May 2009). Getting acquainted in interracial interactions: Avoiding intimacy but approaching race. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 557-571.
- Albert, L. J., & Johnson, C. S. (in press). Socio-economic status- and gender-based differences in students' perceptions of e-learning systems. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education.
- Morrison, K. R., Johnson, C. S., & Wheeler, S. C. (in press). Not all selves feel the same uncertainty: Motivated assimilation to primes among high and low collectivists. Social Psychology and Personality Science.
- Stephens, N. M., Fryberg, S. A., Markus, H. R., Johnson, C.S., & Covarrubias, R. (in press). The university’s focus on independence disadvantages first generation students: A cultural mismatch in models of how to be a student. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
- Morrison, K. R., & Johnson, C. S. (2011). When what you have is what you are: Self-uncertainty leads to seeing values in possessions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(5), 639-651.
- Johnson, C. S., & Stapel, D. A. (2010). Harnessing social comparisons: When upward social comparisons improve goal pursuit and performance. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 32 (3), 234-242.
- Johnson, C.S. & Lammers, J. (2012). The powerful disregard social comparison information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 329-334. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2011.10.010
- Smith, J. L., & Johnson, C. S. (2006). A stereotype boost or choking under pressure? Positive gender stereotypes and men who are low in domain identification. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 28(1).
- Johnson, S. K., & Johnson, C. S. (2009). The secret life of mood: Unconscious mood in work contexts. Research on Emotions in Organizations, 5.
- Applied Organizational Behavior
- Fundamentals of Management and Organizational Behavior
- Statistics for the Social Sciences
College of Business
San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0070
- Phone: (408) 924-3416