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Saturday, May 17, 2008

How Second Life Affects Real Life by Kristina Dell FROM Time

What's more, Bailenson's research suggests that the qualities you acquire online — whether it's confidence or insecurity — can spill over and change your conduct in the real world, often without your awareness. Bailenson has found that even 90 seconds spent chatting it up with avatars [online characters] is enough to elicit behavioral changes offline — at least in the short term. "When we cloak ourselves in avatars, it subtly alters the manner in which we behave," says Bailenson. "It's about self-perception and self-confidence." But researchers are still trying to figure out the psychological mechanisms at work, and which way the effect flows: "Do you consciously wear your power suit to feel confident, or is it that you're in this suit and you're feeling up, but you're unaware of the reason?" says Bailenson.

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