Date of Paper/Work
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)
Type of Paper/Work
Tatyana Ramirez, Christopher Vye
Video games have become a prominent part of United States culture. As of 2017, over 155 million Americans play video games. The games have transformed into a thoughtful, immersive experience designed to attach players to the game. Advanced and immersive design leads to gameplay becoming a rewarding experience for players that keeps them coming back. Avatars, or the characters that players control in the video game, are connected to the player’s experience of virtual reality and often extend a player's sense of personal identity. This project is focused on personality and avatar choice in the context of individually-played story-driven games. The goal was to investigate whether players rated avatar personality traits as unique to each avatar and whether relationships between big five personality traits of players and perceived personality traits of their preferred avatars could be identified. Relationship between avatar choice and demographic characteristics of players was also examined. The sample consisted of 83 adults who have completed the Big Five Personality Trait Short Questionnaire, a survey about participants’ perceived similarity with their favored avatar, and a demographics survey. Statistical analysis revealed that players assigned different personality traits to different avatars. Further, positive relationships were found between player Agreeableness and perceived avatar Agreeableness, avatar Openness to Experience, avatar Emotional Stability, and avatar Extraversion. Player Conscientiousness was positively related to perceived avatar Agreeableness.
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Hays, Sarah A., "Role-Playing Games or Gamers Playing Roles? An Exploratory Study About the Relationship Between Player and Avatar Personalities" (2018). Professional Psychology Dissertations 2015-. 47.