The Effects of Spoke-Avatars’ Personalities on Source Expertise, Trustworthiness, and Attractiveness in the 3D Virtual Environment

Seung-A Jin, Boston College, USA
Yongjun Sung, The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Second Life is the fastest growing avatar-based 3D virtual environment and a promising communication channel for marketing and advertising. Avatars are virtual sources (or endorsers) that can be used as company representatives. A company or brand’s credibility can be created by any direct or indirect contact the consumer experiences with avatars. This study aims to empirically investigate the consequences of spokes-avatars’ personalities on source credibility. We conducted a two-group comparison experiment in a virtual store inside Second Life. The results showed that sincere avatars increased perceived source expertise and trustworthiness whereas exciting avatars increased perceived source attractiveness.
[ to cite ]:
Seung-A Jin and Yongjun Sung (2009) ,"The Effects of Spoke-Avatars’ Personalities on Source Expertise, Trustworthiness, and Attractiveness in the 3D Virtual Environment", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 877-878.