The virtual malleable self and the virtual identity discrepancy model: Investigative frameworks for virtual possible selves and others in avatar-based identity construction and social interaction

Seunga Jin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


This article introduces the novel model of "virtual identity discrepancy" as an investigative framework for computer-mediated self-representation and interpersonal communication in avatar-based virtual environments (VEs). Study 1 examined the roles of virtual self-discrepancy and self-presence in intrapersonal virtual identity construction. Study 2 explored the roles of virtual other-discrepancy, social presence, expectancy violation, and uncertainty reduction in animated avatar-to-avatar (AtA) virtual social interaction. Mediation analyses following a bootstrapping procedure indicated that self-presence mediates the relationship between virtual self-discrepancy and flow while social presence mediates the relationship between virtual other-discrepancy and flow. Furthermore, expectancy violation mediates the relationship between self-disclosure and trust in text-based chatting while uncertainty reduction mediates the relationship between nonverbal immediacy and flow in nonverbal communication between avatars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2160-2168
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012



  • Avatars
  • Flow
  • Possible selves
  • Self-discrepancy
  • Virtual identity
  • Virtual self

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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