Advertisement

Virtual Doppelgangers: Psychological Effects of Avatars Who Ignore Their Owners

  • Jeremy N. Bailenson
  • Kathryn Y. Segovia
Chapter
Part of the Human-Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)

Abstract

For a decade, the Virtual Human Interaction Lab has been creating doppelgangers, virtual versions of the self, for research purposes. This chapter considers how humans may be affected by confrontation with virtual versions of themselves, on the basis of well-established psychological theories, including social cognitive theory (social learning theory), media richness theory (information richness theory), and self-perception theory. Experiments carried out in the Lab, and informed by these theories, have explored such notable topics as health communication, marketing, and false memories. The findings of one series of studies suggest that doppelgangerscan show the rewards of exercise and proper eating habits, changing people’s health-related behavior as a result. Other studies showed that doppelgangers are powerful marketing agents and can be used in advertisements to create favorable brand impressions among consumers. Other research documented that children have difficulty in distinguishing between an actual memory elicited by a physical world event and a false memory elicited by mental image or doppelganger.

Keywords

Video Game False Memory Social Cognitive Theory Mental Imagery Virtual Representation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Sun Joo Ahn, Jesse Fox, James Scarborough, and Nick Yee for their helpful comments on this chapter. The current work was partially supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant 0527377. In addition, the Stanford Graduate Fellowship supported Kathryn Segovia during her contribution to this research.

References

  1. Advertising Age. (2007). Bring out your dead: Crispin resurrects Orville Redenbacher. Retrieved May 4, 2009, from http://adage.com/adages/post?article_id = 114344
  2. Ahn, S. J., & Bailenson, J. N. (2008). Self-endorsing versus other-endorsing in virtual environments: The effect on brand preference. Unpublished manuscript. Stanford, CA: Stanford University.Google Scholar
  3. Andsager, J. L., Bemker, V., Choi, H.-L., & Torwel, V. (2006). Perceived similarity of exemplar traits and behavior: Effects on message evaluation. Communication Research, 33, 3-18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bailenson, J. N., Beall, A. C., Blascovich, J., & Rex, C. (2004). Examining virtual busts: Are photogrammetrically-generated head models effective for person identification? Presence: Tele-Operators and Virtual Environments, 13(4), 416-427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bailenson, J. N., Blascovich, J., & Guadagno, R. E. (2008). Self-representations in immersive virtual environments. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38(11), 2673-2690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  7. Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory of mass communication. Media Psychology, 3, 265-299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bandura, A., & Huston, A. C. (1961). Identification as a process of incidental learning. Journal of Abnormal & Social Psychology, 63, 311-318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bem, D. (1972). Self perception theory. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology Volume 6, New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  10. Blascovich, J., Loomis, J., Beall, A. C., Swinth, K. R., Hoyt, C. L., & Bailenson, J. N. (2002). Immersive virtual environment technology as a methodological tool for social psychology. Psychological Inquiry, 2, 103-124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Daft, R. L., & Lengel, R. H. (1984). Information richness: A new approach to managerial information processing and organization design. In B. Staw & L.L. Cummings (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior, (pp. 191-233). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  12. Daft, R. L., Lengel, R. H., & Trevino, L. K. (1987). Message equivocality, media selection, and manager performance: Implications for information systems. MIS Quarterly, 11, 354-366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fox, J., & Bailenson, J. N. (2009). Virtual self-modeling: The effects of vicarious reinforcement and identification on exercise behaviors. Media Psychology, 12, 1-25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fox, J., Bailenson, J. N., & Binney, J. (2009). Virtual experiences, physical behaviors: The effect of presence on imitation of an eating avatar. PRESENCE: Teleoperators & Virtual Environments, 18(4), 294-303. Google Scholar
  15. Frank, R. H., & Gilovich, T. (1988). The dark side of self and social perceptions: Black uniforms and aggression in professional sports. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 74-85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gibson, W. (1984). Neuromancer. New York: Penguin Putnam.Google Scholar
  17. Heatherton, T. F., Macrae, C. N., & Kelley, W. M. (2004). What the social brain sciences can tell us about the self. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(5), 190-193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hilmert, C. J., Kulik, J. A., & Christenfeld, N. J. S. (2006). Positive and negative opinion modeling: The influence of another’s similarity and dissimilarity. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 90, 440-452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ito, K. E., Kalyanaraman, S., Brown, J. D., & Miller, W. C. (2008). Factors affecting avatar use in a STI prevention CD-ROM. Journal of Adolescent Health, 42, S19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Iwata, H., Yano, H., Uemura, T., & Moriya, T. (2004). Food texture display. Presented at the 12th International Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems (HAPTICS’04), March 27-28, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  21. Jonze, S. (Director). (1999). Being John Malkovich [Motion picture]. United States: Gramercy Pictures.Google Scholar
  22. Jung, Y., & McLaughlin, M. (2008). Role enactment based on gender stereotypes in interactive media: Effects of role play on the management of self-concept and physical distance in virtual reality environments. Presented at the 58th Annual International Communication Association Conference, May 22-26, Montreal, Canada.Google Scholar
  23. Kingdon, M. (2007). Second Life. Linden Lab.Google Scholar
  24. Larid, J. D. (2007). Feelings: The perception of self. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Lum, K. (2005). Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 Remix. Activision.Google Scholar
  26. Meichengaum, D. H. (1971). Examination of model characteristics in reducing avoidance behavior. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 17, 298-307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Merola, N., Pena, J., & Hancock, J. (2006). Avatar color and social identity effects: On attitudes and group dynamics in virtual realities. Presented at the 56th Annual International Communication Association Conference, June 19-23, Dresden, Germany.Google Scholar
  28. Morhaime, M. (2009). World of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment.Google Scholar
  29. Nakamoto, T., & Minh, H.P.D. (2007). Improvement of olfactory display using solenoid valves. Presented at the Virtual Reality Conference, March 14-17, Charlotte, NC.Google Scholar
  30. Poe, E. A. (1839). William Wilson, from (http://xroads.virginia.edu/∼HYPER/POE/w_wilson.html).
  31. Ratan, R., Santa Cruz, M., & Vorderer, P. (2007). Multitasking, presence and self-presence on the Wii. Presented at the 10th Annual International Workshop on Presence, October 25-27, Barcelona, Spain.Google Scholar
  32. Rogers, T. B., Kuiper, N. A., & Kirker, S. (1977). Self-reference and the encoding of personal information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 677-688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sandburg, C. (1954). Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie years and the war years. Orlando, FL: Harcourt.Google Scholar
  34. Segovia, K. Y., & Bailenson, J. N. (In press). Virtually true: Children’s acquisition of false memories in virtual reality. Media Psychology.Google Scholar
  35. Stotland, E. (1969). Exploratory investigations of empathy. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, (pp. 274-314). New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  36. Symons, C. S., & Johnson, B. T. (1997). The self-reference effect in memory: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 121(3), 371-394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tan, H. Z., Srinivasan, M., Eberman, B., & Cheng, B. (1994). Human factors for the design of force-reflecting haptic interfaces. Presented at the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division, November 6-11, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  38. Yee, N., & Bailenson, J. N. (2007). The Proteus effect: Self transformations in virtual reality. Human Communication Research, 33, 271-290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Yee, N. & Bailenson, J.N. (2009). The difference between being and seeing: The relative contribution of self perception and priming to behavioral changes via digital self-representation. Media Psychology, 12(2), 195-209.Google Scholar
  40. Yee, N., Bailenson, J. N., & Ducheneaut, N. (2009). The Proteus effect: Implications of transformed digital self-representation on online and offline behavior. Communication Research, 36(2), 285-312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations