Virtual worlds are three-dimensional, computer-generated worlds in which users take the form of avatars and use those avatars to 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. We propose a research model to study the interaction effects of gender stereotypicality of male and female avatars and gender typicality of tasks on trust perceptions. Gender stereotypes have been widely studied in the real world along with their effects on trust perceptions. An experiment is proposed to examine the effects of gender stereotypes on trust perceptions in virtual worlds. Implications and expected contributions are also discussed.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/nahf/56/