This study investigated how avatar appearance and cognitive load affect virtual interactions. Avatar salespeople dressed in black were perceived as unpersuasive and untrustworthy, and were offered less money compared to avatars in white clothes. Moreover, participants stood closer to avatars in white clothes compared to avatars dressed in black. Contrary to the traditional prediction (i.e., cognitively busy participants would trust avatars in white clothes the most but avatars in dark clothes the least), cognitively nonbusy participants expressed less trust towards avatar salespeople dressed in black instead of white clothes, while cognitively busy participants trusted both characters equally. The findings expanded current research on virtual social influence by considering the effects of the clothing color of virtual characters, along with how cognitive load and avatar appearance can modify perceived avatar trustworthiness when combined.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.