PsychNology Journal, Volume 8, Number 1, 33 – 65

Advancing a Model of Avatar Evaluation and Selection

Mark A. Hamilton, Kristine L. Nowak
Department of Communication Science, University of Connecticut, USA


ABSTRACT
Viewers (N = 261) evaluated and chose avatars to represent them online. The viewers rated 92 potential avatars that were manipulated along three dimensions – sex, humanness, and integrity. Perceived gender of the image, its anthropomorphic intensity, and realism mediated the effects of the manipulated variables on judgments of homophily as a representation of self, credibility, and the likelihood that it would be used as an avatar during future interactions. Results indicated that anthropomorphic intensity enhanced image homophily, in part by increasing perceived realism. Image gender was found to produce a combination of positive and negative effects on competence ratings and avatar choice. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed. 

KEYWORDS: Avatar, realism, credibility, selection, anthropomorphic intensity, sex, humanness, integrity

CITE AS:
Hamilton, M., A., & Nowak, K. L. (2010). Advancing a Model of Avatar Evaluation and Selection. PsychNology Journal, 8(1), 33 – 65. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from www.psychnology.org.

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