Actual Self vs. Avatar Self: The Effect of Online Social Situation on Self-Expression

Yongjun Sung, Jang Ho Moon, mihyun Kang, Jhih-Syuan Lin


This paper investigates whether online social contexts can prime individuals to create avatars that emphasize particular characteristics and personality traits that are different from their actual selves. The results show that while the participants’ avatar personality ratings are correlated with their own personality ratings across the Big-Five personality dimensions, they still try to express personality characteristics that are somewhat different from their actual selves in virtual environment. Further, with respect to the relationship between avatar personality ratings (given by creators) and those by zero-acquaintances, no significant relationships were observed (with the exception of the Agreeableness dimension).


avatar, self, Big-Five personality, virtual environment

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