Good Person or Bad Character? Personality Predictors of Morality and Ethics in Avatar Selection for Video Game Play
Popular video games often provide people with the option to play characters that are good or evil in nature, and yet, little is known about how individual differences in personality relate to the moral and ethical alignments people chose in their digital representations. We examined whether participants' pre-existing levels of moral disengagement and Big 5 scores predicted the alignments they selected for their avatar in video game play. Results revealed that men, relative to women, were more likely to play “bad guys” and that moral disengagement predicted this finding. Agreeableness and conscientiousness mediated the relationship between moral disengagement and alignment such that those higher in these two traits were more likely to play good characters.
Ewell, Patrick; Guadagno, Rosanna; Jones, Matthew; and Dunn, Robert, "Good Person or Bad Character? Personality Predictors of Morality and Ethics in Avatar Selection for Video Game Play" (2016). Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 19(7): 435-440. Faculty Publications. Paper 76.
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking