Virtual worlds are three-dimensional, computer-generated worlds in which users take the form of avatars. Through their avatars, users can interact with objects and other avatars in the virtual world. Virtual worlds are growing in importance in both educational institutions and businesses. Educational institutions have adopted virtual worlds as a medium for instructional delivery whereas businesses are using virtual worlds for recruitment, training, collaboration, and marketing. Given these emerging phenomena, a better understanding of behavioral and perceptual issues in virtual worlds is warranted. In this paper, we propose a research model to study gender stereotypicality of male and female avatars and their effects on trust perceptions. Gender stereotypes have been widely studied in the real world along with their effects on trust perceptions. This research will assess if such gender stereotypes also exist in the virtual worlds.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/nahf/47/