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

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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