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Proteus Effect Profiles: how Do they Relate with Disordered Gaming Behaviours?


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Stavropoulos, V, Pontes, HM ORCID: 0000-0001-8020-7623, Gomez, R, Schivinski, B and Griffiths, M 2020 , 'Proteus Effect Profiles: how Do they Relate with Disordered Gaming Behaviours?' , Psychiatric Quarterly , doi: 10.1007/s11126-020-09727-4.

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Gamers represent themselves in online gaming worlds through their avatars. The term “Proteus Effect” (PE) defines the potential influences of the gamers’ avatars on their demeanour, perception and conduct and has been linked with excessive gaming. There is a significant lack of knowledge regarding likely distinct PE profiles and whether these could be differentially implicated with disordered gaming. A normative group of 1022 World of Warcraft (WoW) gamers were assessed in the present study (Mean age = 28.60 years). The Proteus Effect Scale (PES) was used to evaluate the possible avatar effect on gamers’ conduct, and the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale–Short-Form was used to examine gaming disorder behaviors. Latent class profiling resulted in three distinct PE classes, ‘non-influenced-gamers’ (NIGs), ‘perception-cognition-influenced-gamers’ (PCIGs), and ‘emotion-behaviour-influenced-gamers’ (EBIGs). The NIGs reported low rates across all PES items. The PCIGs indicated higher avatar influence in their perception-experience but did not report being affected emotionally. The EBIGs indicated significantly higher avatar influence in their emotion and behaviour than the other two classes but reported stability in their perception of aspects independent of their avatar. Gaming disorder behaviours were reduced for the NIGs and progressively increased for the PCIGs and the EBIGs.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Stavropoulos, V and Pontes, HM and Gomez, R and Schivinski, B and Griffiths, M
Keywords: user-avatar bond, gamer identity, gaming immersion, Proteus effect, IGD, disordered gaming, gaming disorder, gaming addiction
Journal or Publication Title: Psychiatric Quarterly
Publisher: Kluwer Academic-Human Sciences Press
ISSN: 0033-2720
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s11126-020-09727-4
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Psychiatric Quarterly. The final authenticated version is available online at:

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