The Cowl Makes the Monk: How Avatar Appearance and Role Labels Affect Cognition in Virtual Worlds
Jorge Pea, Matthew McGlone, University of Texas at Austin ; Joseph Sanchez, Rutgers University
Journal of Virtual Worlds Research Volume 5, Number 3, ISSN 1941-8477 Publisher: Journal of Virtual Worlds Research
This study examined how avatars influence operators in stereotype-consistent ways. Participants controlled formally or glamorously dressed avatars, and then created stories. Half of the participants heard a comment about the likely role of the avatar based on its looks (e.g., professor, supermodel). An automated linguistic analysis uncovered that participants using formally dressed avatars referred more to education, books, and numbers. Conversely, participants using glamorously dressed avatars used more words related to sports, entertainment, clothes, and beauty. Also, glamorously dressed avatars with a supermodel role elicited brands, exotic names, and age concerns, but the same avatar with no role stimulated descriptions of people and locations. The findings fit the assumptions of priming models and illustrate the additive effects of avatar appearance and role on users’ cognition.
Pea, J., McGlone, M. & Sanchez, J. (2012). The Cowl Makes the Monk: How Avatar Appearance and Role Labels Affect Cognition in Virtual Worlds. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 5(3),.
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Miri Shonfeld & Miki Kritz
Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects Vol. 9, No. 1 (Jan 01, 2013) pp. 249–266
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