I'd say it has to do more with goals. As a bodybuilder i could give two shits about my absolute strength, and i don't compete, either. its all about size and appearance for me. An average person will get more information from judging their relative strength and increases in strength than anything else, imo. But both relative and absolute have their place.
"Abs on a skinny guy are like big boobs on a fat chick - they don't count." -Shelby Starnes