A frame effect in avatar customization: How users’ attitudes towards their avatars may change depending on virtual context

Filippo Aschieri, Daniela Villani, Giuseppe Riva, Stefano Triberti, Ilaria Durosini

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

6 Citazioni (Scopus)


The sense of “being there” that Virtual Reality/Worlds may promote in users depends on multiple factors, one being the relationship between users and the digital figures representing their agency/identity in the simulation (i.e., avatars). Avatars offer innovative resources for psychological assessment, such as clues about users’ self-conception. However, avatar customization may vary depending on the Virtual World context it has to enter. We hypothesize that users may have different attitudes towards avatars created for different contexts; feel more or less represented by different avatars; and that such difference may be influenced by sex, self-esteem (evaluation of one’s own self) and self-curiosity (disposition/interest to increase knowledge about one’s own inner world). 87 students (45 females) created two avatars to be used in two different virtual contexts (i.e., Leisure vs. Job) and then responded to questions regarding attitudes towards both their own avatars, namely Similarity to Self, to Ideal Self, Attractiveness, and Difficulty in Customization. Moreover, they filled in validated questionnaires on self-esteem (Rosenberg Self- Esteem Scale) and self-curiosity (Self-Curiosity Attitude-Interest Scale). Results showed that Leisure-avatars were perceived easier to customize and more similar to self than Job-avatars. Analysis involving sex as another variable showed that this difference emerged in females specifically. Moreover, Leisure-avatars were also perceived more similar to ideal self than Job-avatars when controlling for selfcuriosity. Discussion deals with implications for avatar assessment, in that attitudes towards avatars can be influenced by the virtual context, and by individual characteristics such as one’s own disposition to understand him or herself.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)92-97
Numero di pagine6
RivistaAnnual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • Avatar
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Context
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Self
  • Self-curiosity
  • Self-esteem
  • Virtual worlds


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