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Your Online Avatar Says A Lot About You

A recent study shows that your online avatar reveals a lot about how extroverted or neurotic you are, even if it looks nothing like you.


A recent study published on the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin shows that online avatars like Nintendo Miis or Xbox Live Avatars may reveal a lot about your personality - even if you don't design them to look like you.

As reported by NPR, psychology Ph.D. student Katrina Fong at York University and lead author of the study states, "Despite avatars being whatever an individual wants them to be ... that person's personality can come through and be communicated accurately to others." Fong is specifically referring to the Big Five personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

Individuals who are more open to being befriended generally chose traits to promote themselves. Those that described themselves as extroverted or agreeable could have those traits accurately predicted by their avatars, even though half of the study's participants stated that their avatars did not look like them.

What traits advertise openness? A smile, light or brown hair, and open eyes. Putting shades on your avatar is off-putting. Other traits that discourage friend-making include short hair and hats. Male avatars are perceived to be less conscientious and not as open to experience than females.

Source: NPR

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