Jennifer Gerson, Anke C. Plagnol and Philip J. Corr. "Dimensionality of the Iowa-Netherlands Comparison Orientation Measure and its relationship to Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory". Journal of Individual Differences. 38, pp. 256-264 (2017). (journal)(download)


The aims of this study were, first, to reassess the factor structure of the Iowa-Netherlands Social Comparison Orientation Measure (INCOM) and, second, to explore the associations of its factors with the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST) of personality. Data from 337 respondents were collected via online questionnaire. Structural equation models were used to assess the factor structure of the INCOM and test for relationships with RST traits. The results confirmed previous findings that the INCOM contains two factors: Ability, which relates to the comparison of performance, and Opinion, which relates to the comparison of thoughts and emotions. The two-factor model was found to be superior to the commonly used one-factor solution. The models further revealed significant relationships with RST factors: positive associations between the Ability factor and the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) and Behavioral Approach System (BAS) Reward Reactivity; positive associations between the Opinion factor and BAS Reward Reactivity and Goal-Drive Persistence, and a negative association with BAS Impulsivity. These findings indicate that using the INCOM as a single scale is likely to miss significant unique relationships. Our findings also provide new insight into how individual differences in personality may influence social comparison behavior.