Effect of Avatar Appearance in VR on Physical Performance on a Bicycle Ergometer

Effect of Avatar Appearance in VR on Physical Performance on a Bicycle Ergometer
Martin Kocur
Florian Habler
Niels Henze
Valentin Schwind
Proteus Effekt, body ownership illusion, avatars, self-perception, presence, physical performance, Ergometer


Previous work showed that the appearance of avatars has an effect on users’ behavior [1]. The so-called „Proteus effect“ describes changes in behaviour, attitudes and perception caused by the embodiment of the virtual avatar which may persist for a short time after the user has left VR. [2] Recent work looks at how the Proteus effect can serve as tools for psychological research e.g. in reducing racial bias [3] and feeling less pain [4]. But we do not know how the Proteus effect could affect actual fitness measurements such as pulse, blood pressure, endurance and speed. We assume that a thinner and more muscular avatar can improve fitness performance and endurance because the altered avatar can trigger behavioral changes.

Zielsetzung der Arbeit

The aim of the work is to reveal potential effects that the perception of one's own body in different virtual avatars has on one's fitness performance. By applying psychology knowledge to HCI research in virtual reality we investigate how the embodiment of a thinner or thicker avatar can affect the actual fitness performance on an ergometer. We conduct a survey with a questionnaire to find out which avatars are best suited for this.

Konkrete Aufgaben

  • Evaluating the perception of avatars and their fitness level
  • Evaluating ergometers
  • Implementing the setup
  • Designing the study
  • Executing the study
  • Analyzing the results

Erwartete Vorkenntnisse

  • Unity programming
  • Virtual reality
  • User studies
  • 3D modelling

Weiterführende Quellen

[1] Nick Yee, Jeremy Bailenson, The Proteus Effect: The Effect of Transformed Self-Representation on Behavior, Human Communication Research, Volume 33, Issue 3, 1 July 2007, Pages 271–290, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.2007.00299.x [2] Reinhard, René & Shah, Khyati & Faust-Christmann, Corinna & Lachmann, Thomas. (2019). Acting your avatar’s age: effects of virtual reality avatar embodiment on real life walking speed. Media Psychology. 1-23. 10.1080/15213269.2019.1598435. [3] Hasler, Béatrice & Spanlang, Bernhard & Slater, Mel. (2017). Virtual race transformation reverses racial in-group bias. PLOS ONE. 12. e0174965. 10.1371/journal.pone.0174965. [4] Matsangidou, M., Ang, C. S., Mauger, A.R., Intarasirisawat, J., Otkhmezuri, B., Avraamides, M.N. (2018) Is your virtual self as sensational as your real? Virtual Reality: The effect of body consciousness on the experience of exercise sensations. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 2018;

arbeiten/effect_of_avatar_appearance_in_vr_on_physical_performance_on_a_bicycle_ergometer.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 22.02.2021 09:59 von Martin Kocur
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