Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Avatars as lifelike representations and effective marketing tools

Date:
July 13, 2010
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
It is predicted that 80 percent of active Internet consumers and Fortune 500 companies will have an avatar or presence in a virtual community, including social networks, by the end of 2011. A new article investigates the role avatars play in the virtual and consumer environment, how well avatars reflect the personality of their creators, the psychology behind self-representation, and how these virtually made identities are perceived by other members of the virtual community.

It is predicted that 80% of active Internet consumers and Fortune 500 companies will have an avatar or presence in a virtual community, including social networks, by the end of 2011.

A new article in the journal Psychology & Marketing investigates the role avatars play in the virtual and consumer environment, how well avatars reflect the personality of their creators, the psychology behind self-representation, and how these virtually made identities are perceived by other members of the virtual community. According to the study, avatars can portray a very lifelike and accurate depiction of a person's true personality, within the virtual world.

Dr. H. Onur Bodur of Concordia University and his colleagues used the sophisticated avatar-based community Second Life as their model for the study, which has its own economy and facilitates real-money transactions. The membership of Second Life has increased more than 20 fold between 2006 and 2009 to reach 15 million, and many real-world companies (e.g., Adidas, American Apparel, Dell, Nike, and Toyota) have appeared in Second Life.

Members of the community use particular avatar traits or visual cues, such as attractiveness, gender, stylish hair, or expression ("babyfaceness" is associated with cooperation), to form impressions or opinions about the human behind the avatar. The researchers argue that well-known psychological principles such as Social Response Theory (SRT) and anthropomorphism come into play at this stage of discovery and discernment. Bodur's study finds that these impressions, based solely on fairly limited or superficial traits of the avatar, may accurately match the true personality of the real person behind the avatar.

Dr. Bodur says, "This research, which aligns with other research that says that accurate impressions can be formed through access to very limited information, such as images of someone's dorm room, work space, or website. This and future research can show whether online presentations of consumers (e.g., avatars) can be used to identify and segment consumers."

This article is part of the relatively new field of research surrounding the use of this new graphic media, and plays a major role in analyzing its impact on social psychology and marketing practices.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jean-Franηois Bιlisle, H. Onur Bodur. Avatars as information: Perception of consumers based on their avatars in virtual worlds. Psychology and Marketing, 2010; 27 (8): 741 DOI: 10.1002/mar.20354

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Avatars as lifelike representations and effective marketing tools." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100712102808.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2010, July 13). Avatars as lifelike representations and effective marketing tools. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100712102808.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Avatars as lifelike representations and effective marketing tools." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100712102808.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) — A new study says marijuana use could lead to serious heart-related complications. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins