advertisement
Home » News » Improve Self-Esteem By Proxy

Improve Self-Esteem By Proxy

fansAn intriguing new study shows how “connections” to celebrities, i.e. parasocial relationships, can allow people with low-self esteem to view themselves more positively.

For many people, the admiration of celebrities can have some important benefits.

Jaye L. Derrick and Shira Gabriel of the University at Buffalo, State University of New York illustrate how parasocial relationships can provide a safe route for people who have a difficult time with real interpersonal relationships.

People with low self-esteem can use their parasocial relationships to feel closer to the ideals they hold for themselves.

Researchers conducted three studies using approximately one hundred undergraduate university students each to examine the relationship between self-esteem, parasocial relationship closeness, and self-discrepancies.

Participants identified their favorite 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 favorite celebrities as very similar to their ideal selves. Low self-esteem people primed with their favorite celebrity felt more similar to their ideal selves than low self-esteem people primed with a control celebrity.

Also, people with low self-esteem primed with their favorite celebrity felt more similar to their ideal selves than low self-esteem people primed with a close relationship partner.

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. These parasocial relationships, which have very low risk of rejection, offer low self-esteem people an opportunity to reduce their self-discrepancies and feel closer to their ideal selves.

“Even ‘fake’ relationships with celebrities, relationships without any actual contact, can have benefits for the self,” the authors conclude. “We found that parasocial relationships can sometimes have benefits for people with low-self esteem that ‘real’ relationships do not.”

This study is published in the June 2008 issue of Personal Relationships.

Source: Blackwell Publishing

Improve Self-Esteem By Proxy

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Improve Self-Esteem By Proxy. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/06/06/improve-self-esteem-by-proxy/2421.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.