Avatar alter-egos can be a healthy influence for some individuals

Avatars can help to influence an individual's personal health habits and personality, according to new research published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. According to lead author Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Missouri's College of Arts and Sciences, avatars enable individuals to "try on a new appearance and persona with little risk or effort." She added that the alter-ego then can have a positive influence on that individual's life. "For example, people seeking to lose weight could create fitter avatars to help visualize themselves as slimmer and healthier," she said. Announcement