Dare to Compare – Brits ‘Comparison Culture’ bringing Growing Pressure on Families

April 13, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
April 13, 2007 – Britain is becoming a nation of comparers according to a new survey, which has found that 1 in 3 people feel less successful than their friends, placing increasing pressure to keep up with the Jones’ in everything from finance and physique to IT gear. The research, which was conducted by Tickbox.net for price comparator website Carrentals.co.uk, found that women are more likely to compare themselves and their ‘assets’ to their friends, while men tend to look at work colleagues as their peers.

This ‘comparison culture’ is placing growing pressure on men and women to have more, potentially resulting in growing debt and low self-worth as they try to keep up with friends and colleagues.

Female respondents reported experiencing peer pressure to wear designer clothes and shoes, to shop in certain stores, and to buy children bigger and better presents. For men their top pressure points were to drive a newer, faster car and to buy a bigger house in a more exclusive area.

Top 10 Areas of Comparison
1) House
2) Clothes/fashion sense
3) Salaries
4) Job Role
5) Body Parts
6) Holidays
7) Spouse/Partner
8) Cars
9) Children
10) IT Gadgets

1) House
2) Salaries
3) Job role
4) Cars
5) Holidays
6) Spouse/partner
7) IT Gadgets
8) Clothes/fashion sense
9) Children
10) Body parts

When it comes to personal comparisons, 1 in 3 women worry most about their figures compared to those of their friends, while men are concerned about their personality, with 1 in 10 feeling their friends may have more charisma. For 16 – 24 year olds nearly 50% are most concerned about how their body parts compare to those of their friends, underlining the pressure that now exists on body image.

As well as comparing to friends, many people also compare themselves to their partner - 1 in 10 said they thought they were too good for their ‘loved one’, with the 45+ age group the most likely to see themselves as being able to do better than their partner.

The comparison culture is also rife in the workplace, where over 30% of women compare their position to that of their colleagues, while 1 in 4 men compare their salaries. The pressure to keep up with colleagues and friends is resulting in many people telling ‘white lies’, with the top white lie for both men and women being about their job title/role.

Gareth Robinson, marketing director of Carrentals.co.uk, said: “Everyone compares themselves to some degree, whether with friends, colleagues or celebrities. The findings of the survey underline the extent to which people are now feeling peer pressure to live up to others, whether it’s the way they look, their salaries or even their partner.

“It is understandable to compare things such as price when you are shopping, but it is important for people to do what’s right for them and not to get dragged in to a culture of comparing to those you know.”

About Carrentals.co.uk
Carrentals.co.uk was launched in February 2003 and grew to become one of the UK’s leading online car hire companies by 2006, when it also booked its 100,000th customer.

In 2007 the company re-launched its site to create the first major online price comparator in the travel industry. Using the latest technology the new Carrentals.co.uk site now searches up to 40 different car hire websites, providing an impartial comparison of the best prices available.

Websites searched include Alamo, Thrifty, Sixt, Holiday Autos, Opodo, EBookers, Carrentals.co.uk and EasyCar, with the Carrentals.co.uk site quickly comparing prices and allowing customers to refine their search by car type.

The Carrentals.co.uk site also features over 6,000 links to useful tourist information sites, plus over 2,700 pages of travel information in a mini-guide format.

To book or for further information visit www.carrentals.co.uk

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