Browse Definitions:
Definition

Proteus effect

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

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

Continue Reading About Proteus effect

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchSecurity

  • FIDO (Fast Identity Online)

    FIDO (Fast ID Online) is a set of technology-agnostic security specifications for strong authentication. FIDO is developed by the...

  • cryptanalysis

    Cryptanalysis is the study of ciphertext, ciphers and cryptosystems with the aim of understanding how they work and finding and ...

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless, but is, in fact, malicious.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD TRIM

    SSD TRIM is an Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) command that enables an operating system to inform a NAND flash solid-state ...

  • cloud storage service

    A cloud storage service is a business that maintains and manages its customers' data and makes that data accessible over a ...

  • cloud hosting

    Cloud hosting is the process of outsourcing an organization's computing and storage resources to a service provider that offers ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close