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.

Related Articles


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 January 26, 2015 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 January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) — Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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