The contrast effect with avatars
Kenrick and Gutierres (1980) found that participants exposed to attractive women would later rate an average-looking woman as less attractive compared to participants who had not been exposed to the attractive women. Because of the increase in our use of technology and computer programs utilizing avatars, two experiments were conducted to determine whether this contrast effect would occur when participants were presented with attractive avatars. Participants were told that they were in a study interested in first impressions and they were asked to rate images on a number of characteristics, including attractiveness. In Experiment 1, participants were presented with either three attractive or three unattractive avatars and then one photograph of an average-looking woman. In Experiment 2, participants were presented with either three attractive or three unattractive male or female avatars and rated a photograph of a man or woman, respectively. In both experiments, participants exposed to the attractive avatars rated the woman as significantly less attractive compared to the participants exposed to the unattractive avatars.
Computers in Human Behavior
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Leding, Horton, J. C., & Wootan, S. S. (2015). The contrast effect with avatars. Computers in Human Behavior, 44, 118–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.11.054