Low on self-esteem? Have a ‘parasocial’ relationshipJune 6th, 2008 - 1:03 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, June 6 (IANS) Admiring celebrities, even from afar, can help people with low self-esteem to see themselves in a more flattering light, according to a new study. The study, by researchers from the University at Buffalo and State University of New York, illustrates how such “parasocial” relationships can benefit people facing difficulties in interpersonal relationships.
The researchers based their study on 100 undergraduates to examine the relationship between self-esteem, parasocial relationship closeness and self-discrepancies.
Participants identified their favourite celebrity and described that celebrity in an open-ended essay. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale assessed global self-evaluations.
Results showed that people with low self-esteem saw their favourite celebrities as very similar to their ideal selves.
Low self-esteem people primed with their favourite celebrity, felt greater affinity with their ideal selves than low self-esteem people primed with a control celebrity.
The current research demonstrates that parasocial relationships can have self-enhancing benefits for low self-esteem people that they do not receive in real relationships.
“Even ‘fake’ relationships with celebrities can have benefits for the self,” the authors concluded.
“We found that parasocial relationships can sometimes have benefits for people with low-self esteem that ‘real’ relationships do not.”
The findings of the study have been published in the latest issue of the journal Personal Relationships.
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Tags: affinity, celebrities, celebrity, closeness, current research, discrepancies, interpersonal relationships, low self esteem, parasocial relationships, participants, personal relationships, relationship, rosenberg self esteem scale, self evaluations, state university of new york, undergraduates, university at buffalo