Jaye L. Derrick and Shira Gabriel, Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, State University of New York; Brooke Tippin, Detroit, Michigan.
Parasocial relationships and self-discrepancies: Faux relationships have benefits for low self-esteem individuals
Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2008
© 2008 IARR
Volume 15, Issue 2, pages 261–280, June 2008
How to Cite
DERRICK, J. L., GABRIEL, S. and TIPPIN, B. (2008), Parasocial relationships and self-discrepancies: Faux relationships have benefits for low self-esteem individuals. Personal Relationships, 15: 261–280. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2008.00197.x
We thank Sandra L. Murray for her helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article and a team of research assistants for their assistance in conducting this research.
- Issue online: 19 MAY 2008
- Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2008
The current research proposes that low self-esteem people can use parasocial relationships to experience movement toward the ideal self, a benefit they may miss in real relationships. In Study 1, low self-esteem undergraduate psychology students at a public university in the United States felt closest to celebrities who were similar to their ideal self. In Study 2, low self-esteem college students primed with their favorite celebrity became more similar to their ideal selves. In Study 3, low self-esteem college students primed with their favorite celebrity, but not a close relationship partner, became more similar to their ideal selves. Results are discussed in terms of the implications for parasocial relationships, self-esteem, and the flexibility of the need to belong.