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Virtual Intergroup Contact: How Avatar Customization and Social Identity Cues Influence Social Distance Toward Latinos.

Presenters: Salvador Alvídrez & Jorge Peña

Oct 19, 2017
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM

Kerr Hall 386

Presenters:  Salvador Alvídrez & Jorge Peña

Title: Virtual intergroup contact: How visual identifiability and common group identity cues influence social distance toward Latinos in VR interactions

Abstract: 

Though there is abundant evidence of how intergroup contact reduces prejudice in offline interactions, there is mixed evidence in regards to how computer-mediated mediated communication reduces intergroup prejudice. This study explores how customizing avatars to look like the self or like another person when in the presence or absence of group identity cues affects social distance toward Latinos in VR interactions. Self-customization increased similarity identification with one’s virtual self and, additionally, it reduced social distance toward Latinos relative to virtual other customization. In contrast, other customization in the absence of common group identity cues comparatively decreased embodied presence. The results were in line with the social identity model of deindividuation effects and provide initial evidence for how visual identifiability enhances VR intergroup contact.

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