Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Projecting Self and Increasing Telepresence by Merging Identities

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of perspective-taking instructions (PTI) on (a) the tendency to project aspects of the self onto a video game character and (b) the degree of “telepresence” within a virtual world. Perspective taking instructions encourage subjects to imagine themselves as a story character. It has been found in the past that PTI may cause an individual to merge identities with a story character in written stories (Goldstein & Cialdini, 2007) and films (Davis et al., 1996). This study replicated these findings using a video game. Male video gamers completed a character trait measure about themselves before playing a video game, and completed the same measure about the game character after playing the game. Subjects given perspective-taking instructions (PTI) had more overlap in the character traits ascribed to themselves and the game character than did control subjects. PTI did not significantly impact telepresence. Positive and negative implications of these findings are discussed.

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Projecting Self and Increasing Telepresence by Merging Identities

The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of perspective-taking instructions (PTI) on (a) the tendency to project aspects of the self onto a video game character and (b) the degree of “telepresence” within a virtual world. Perspective taking instructions encourage subjects to imagine themselves as a story character. It has been found in the past that PTI may cause an individual to merge identities with a story character in written stories (Goldstein & Cialdini, 2007) and films (Davis et al., 1996). This study replicated these findings using a video game. Male video gamers completed a character trait measure about themselves before playing a video game, and completed the same measure about the game character after playing the game. Subjects given perspective-taking instructions (PTI) had more overlap in the character traits ascribed to themselves and the game character than did control subjects. PTI did not significantly impact telepresence. Positive and negative implications of these findings are discussed.