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Title: The proteus effect versus stereotype threat : influences on overweight children in an exergame.
Authors: Li, Benjamin Junting.
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Mass media::Media effects
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: Exercise-based video games, or exergames, provide a promising and novel way to increase physical activity and improve exercise attitudes among children. The presence of visual identity cues (e.g., avatars) and social category cues (e.g., stereotypes) within the virtual gaming environment are likely to influence player attitudes and behaviors. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of both the Proteus Effect and stereotype threat on overweight children’s exercise attitudes and game performance in a virtual running game. Body weight is an interesting and complex domain as compared to other stereotyped groups such as race or gender as overweight individuals may be fat but not feel fat. Hence, body shape concern was proposed as a potential moderator. A 2 (Avatar size: Normal versus Overweight) X 2 (Stereotype threat: Absent versus Present) between subjects factorial design was employed. A total of 140 children between 9 to 12 years of age took part in the experiment. The experiment results showed that body size of the avatar had clear effects on the participants’ exercise attitudes and game performance, while the presence of a stereotype threat impacted participants’ exercise attitudes but not on actual game performance. Among the overweight avatar and stereotype threat present conditions, girls reported lower scores and performed poorer than boys. While no interaction effect was present between avatar body size and stereotype threat, participants’ body shape concern was found to moderate the relationship between avatar body size and game performance. Theoretical and policy implications are discussed.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Theses

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