What is Proteus effect? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Personal computing glossary:

The Proteus effect is the tendency for people to be affected by their digital representations, such as avatars, dating site profiles and social networking personas. 

Typically, people's behavior shifts in accordance with their digital representatives. For example, in a video game, someone who creates an avatar based on a Viking warrior is likely to act more boldly within the game. 

Research suggests that the effect also extends into the player's real life. One study at Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab found that players in an immersive virtual reality game who were assigned superhero avatars were more likely to be helpful afterwards. Other studies have produced similar results in a variety of other contexts. 

The capacity of the Proteus effect is being explored for therapeutic applications including behavioral modification, phobia desensitization and personal empowerment, among other possibilities. 

In Greek mythology, Proteus was sometimes known as the god of elusive sea change because he transformed himself to evade capture. From Proteus we get the adjective protean, meaning adaptable, versatile or capable of taking many forms.

 

This was last updated in January 2014
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • Cyber Monday

    - Cyber Monday is a marketing event created to promote online sales. The day falls on the Monday after Black Friday, which directly follows American Thanksgiving Day. (WhatIs.com)

  • NCR (no country redirect)

    - An explanation of the NCR (no country redirect) search parameter. This definition of NCR explains how Google search redirect works and how you can prevent the search engine from redirecting to your... (WhatIs.com)

  • Apple iBeacon

    - Apple’s iBeacon uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to detect a compatible device within a beacon's vicinity. (SearchCRM.com)

Glossaries

  • Personal computing

    - Terms related to personal computers, including definitions about computers sold as consumer products and words and phrases about laptops, tablets and smartphones.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About Proteus effectPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.