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ERIC Number: EJ842354
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-1552-3233
The Impact of Avatar Self-Representation on Collaboration in Virtual Worlds
Wallace, Paul; Maryott, James
Innovate: Journal of Online Education, v5 n5 Jun-Jul 2009
Despite the growing use of virtual worlds in distance education, no studies have shown how self-representation in these environments impacts collaboration in multicultural learning groups. In this article, Paul Wallace and Jim Maryott report on a preliminary study in Micronesia designed to investigate the impact of negative social attitudes based on avatar appearance in multiethnic groups collaborating in virtual worlds. The authors developed an online instrument to investigate reasons for choosing specific avatars for self-representation and to measure willingness to collaborate in online class activities with avatars of various ethnicities. They found that users selected avatars for self-representation based primarily on similarity to self, including physical characteristics and gender. They also found significant differences in willingness to collaborate with avatars representing various ethnic groups with participants indicating a preference to collaborate more intimately in group activities with avatars possessing ingroup ethnic physical features and at a further distance with avatars resembling ethnic outgroups. (Contains 4 exhibits, 5 figures, and 4 tables.)
Fischler School of Education and Human Services. Nova Southeastern University, 1750 NE 167th Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33162. Tel: 800-986-3223; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Guam; Philippines
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Bogardus Social Distance Scale