Social comparison, parasocial relationships, and attachment style: how and when do celebrities improve self-liking?
The recent exponential increase in information available online has not only increased access to information about celebrities, but also decreased the degree to which that information is unambiguously positive. In the current work, we examined how positive celebrities (i.e. celebrities who are primarily admired) versus more ambiguous celebrities (i.e. celebrities about whom people have mixed feelings) differentially affect feelings about the self. Across three studies, we found that high attachment anxiety was associated with assimilating positive celebrities to feel better about the self, whereas attachment avoidance was associated with contrasting ambivalent celebrities to feel better to feel better about the self. Implications for parasocial relationships, social comparison, and attachment are discussed.