People Can Predict Your Personality From Your Online Avatar
From Facebook and Twitter profile photos to online dating pictures and gaming avatars, we face a growing number of decisions about how to represent ourselves on the Internet. And according to new research, suggests that the way we style ourselves online reveals valuable, even surprising information about our personalities in the real world.
Researchers from York University conducted an experiment to test whether people’s online avatars reflected their real-world personality traits. They asked a group of university students to fill out a questionnaire evaluating measures of the Big Five personality traits — extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience. Then, the students were asked to create avatars for themselves using weeworld.com. Then, a separate group of students was shown a subset of 15 to 16 of the avatars created by the first group of students and asked to assess the personality of the avatar’s creator, and to determine whether they would want to be friends with that person.
While the avatars, of course, didn’t offer a complete picture of their creator’s personality, they did contain some important clues about an individual’s offline character. The researchers found that from the avatars alone, the second group of —> Read More Here