Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You can help investigate human and avatar personality by taking brief test

Many active Second Life users experience their avatar and human expressions as distinct beings with unique and even contradictory personality qualities. For instance, a human may be shy and modest while the associated avatar is the flirtatious life of a party.

To look more closely at this phenomenon, I thought it would be interesting to do some informal investigation together by using a standard personality test to measure differences between participants' human and avatar personality traits.

Here's how you can participate (if you experience your avatar and human personas as distinct personalities):
  • Take the short psychological test at the other end of this link two times, once in your human persona and once as your avatar. It is a short version of an instrument based on the Five Factor Model of personality and should take no more than ten minutes to complete.
  • When you're done with both, send the scores to me (using one of the three options below) and I'll aggregate everyone's data. All identifying information will be held in strict confidence. If you're are willing, also include the age of the avatar identity and how many hours a week he or she is in-world. With enough results, we may gain some insight into the depth of the personality variances between human and avatar identities.
  • For each identity include the percentile ranking for Extroversion, Accommodation, Orderliness, Emotional Stability and Inquisitiveness. Here's an example of the scores, and the format to send:
Human Identity
Extroversion 56%
Orderliness 65%
Emotional Stability 63%
Accommodation 76%
Inquisitiveness 72%

Avatar Identity
Extroversion 86%
Orderliness 66%
Emotional Stability 84%
Accommodation 58%
Inquisitiveness 90%

Choose one of these three methods to send in your results:
  • Send them to me in Second Life either via notecard or IM (Botgirl Questi)
  • Email results to me at botgirlq at gmail dot com.
  • If you want to share your scores with blog viewers, simple add them in the comments section of this post.
If this project is interesting to you, please help me get the word out via a link from your blog, a twitter post, etc. I'll report the results here including a spreadsheet with all of the data (stripped of identifying information.)


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A beautiful thought experiment personified through the imagined perspective of a self-aware avatar. My creator's site can is at http://fourworlds.tumblr.com