The value of obtaining information through affiliating with others is suggested by social comparison theory. Social comparison is the process of comparing oneself to others in determining how to behave. According to Leon Festinger, who developed social comparison theory in 1954, all people have beliefs, and it is important to them that their beliefs be correct. Some beliefs can be objectively verified by consulting a reference such as a dictionary or a standard such as a yardstick. Others are subjective beliefs and cannot be objectively verified. In such cases, people look for consensual validation—the verification of subjective beliefs by obtaining a consensus among other people—to verify their beliefs. The less sure people are of the correctness of a belief, the more they rely on social comparison as a source of verification.
The more people there are who agree with one's opinion about something, the more correct one feels in holding that opinion.
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