Title: How avatars help enhancing self-image congruence

Authors: Sevtap Unal; Tevfik Dalgic; Ezgi Akar

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, Izmir Katip Celebi University, Izmir, Turkey ' Naveen Jindal School of Management, University of Texas at Dallas, Texas, USA ' Department of Management Information Systems, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey

Abstract: Most users prefer to use avatars to escape from the real-world difficulties and to create their virtual worlds in where they feel more free and controllable. In this sense, virtual worlds reflect the expected personality traits. In parallel, this study focuses on consumers and their avatar using behaviours across self-image congruence theory by examining the congruence among avatars, participants' personality traits, and product-related self-image. This study analyses the responses of 403 individuals collected by an online questionnaire. The study results highlight that male avatars are more attractive than female and anthropomorphic avatars, and consumers mostly prefer male avatars even their genders are female. This study contributes to a better theoretical understanding of consumers' avatar using behaviours from the standpoint of self-image congruence theory. It also complements other studies on the topic of avatars and self-image congruence by providing different methods and ideas that can lead to further research.

Keywords: avatars; online consumer behaviour; self-image congruence; virtual worlds.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2018.095400

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2018 Vol.12 No.4, pp.374 - 395

Available online: 24 Sep 2018 *

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