Even in virtual environments women shop and men build: A social role perspective on Second Life

Rosanna E. Guadagno, Nicole Lori Muscanell, Bradley M. Okdie, Nanci M. Burk, Thomas B. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study examined whether traditional gender role expectations (Eagly, 1987) influence behaviors in non-traditional contexts such as online virtual environments. Participants were 352 Second Life users who reported their activities and experiences in Second Life. Results indicated that men and women differed in the types of activities they engaged in a manner predicted by social role theory. Specifically, as compared to women, men were more likely to report building things (e.g. objects), to own and work on their own virtual property, and were less likely to change their avatar's appearance. Women, as compared to men, were more likely to meet people, shop, regularly change their avatar's appearance, and buy clothes/objects for their avatar. The present study adds to our understanding of how traditional gender role expectations may carry over to online virtual worlds and influence online behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-308
Number of pages5
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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