(Social) Identity and Creativity in Virtual Settings: Review of Processes and Research Agenda

  • Jérôme GueganEmail author
  • Todd Lubart
  • Julie Collange
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


This chapter presents an overview of a recent line of research on how digital self-representations (i.e., avatars) can improve users’ creativity in virtual settings. We will first review research on the Proteus effect and the influence of personal identity cues provided through avatars. Then, we will present results that show the influence of avatars’ appearance on creative performance. These findings will also be discussed in terms of social representations that can guide – in a given population – what a creative avatar should look like. Beyond personal identity, we will also focus on the influence of avatars to embody a shared identity among the members of a virtual team. Thus, in the line of the Social Identity model of Deindividuation Effects, we will emphasize the importance of social identity and psychosocial processes to foster group cohesiveness, social identification and creative performance in collaborative virtual settings.


Avatar Social identity Proteus effect Virtual environment 



The present chapter was carried out as part of project CREATIVENESS (CREative AcTIvities in Virtual Environment SpaceS), funded by French National Research Agency (ANR-12-SOIN-0005).


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire Adaptations Travail-IndividuUniversité Paris Descartes, Sorbonne – Paris CitéParisFrance

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