The Proteus Effect and Self-Objectiﬁcation via Avatars
Women whose avatars are dressed provocatively come to think of themselves more as objects than as people.
If women appear as sexualized avatars in a virtual reality world, it affects them in the real world, a new study by Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab has found. Specifically, women whose avatars are dressed provocatively think of themselves more as objects than as people.
This phenomenon is known as the Proteus effect, which describes someone adapting their behavior in order to conform to a digital persona. The term is derived from the Greek god Proteus, the god of "elusive sea change."
"We often talk about video game violence and how it affects people who play violent video games," said Jeremy Bailenson, the director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford. "I think it's equally important to think about sexualization."
After participants in Bailenson's study spent time in a virtual reality environment, they were asked to fill out a questionnaire in which they rated how much they agreed with statements. According to the Stanford Report:
Bailenson and [co-author Jesse Fox] folded rape myths such as "in the majority of rapes, the victim is promiscuous or has a bad reputation" into the questionnaire. Participants rated how much they agreed or disagreed with the statements.
The participants who had worn the sexualized avatars tended to agree with rape myths more than the women who had worn the non-sexualized avatars. Women in sexualized avatars whose faces resembled their own agreed with the myths more than anyone else in the study.
Read Bailenson and Fox's research paper here (pdf).
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.
- Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
- Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
- Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Best case: Redrawing borders leads to peace, prosperity and EU membership. But there's also a worst case.
Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.
- China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
- Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
- Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.