Transformed social interaction in collaborative virtual environments

Bailenson, J.N. (2006). Transformed social interaction in collaborative virtual environments. In Messaris, P. and Humphreys, L. (Ed.) Digital Media: Transformations in Human Communication. 255-264. New York: Peter Lang.


In this chapter, I first plan to briefly discuss definitions of immersive virtual reality. Next, I focus specifically on the idea of digital human representation in virtual reality, in particular the manners in which avatars are constructed and currently utilized during social interaction. I then present a theoretical paradigm called Transformed Social Interaction (TSI), a research paradigm that explores the ways that VR allows people to interact in ways not possible face to face, and review a number of published studies examining TSI as well as some new pilot data. I conclude by discussing what the future looks like in regards to the next step in VR in research and applications, and discussing potential ethical problems with TSI.