In modern society, humans spend a lot of time in activities in the virtual world, such as exchanging e-mails with others, expressing thoughts and commenting on the Internet community. As the weight of the virtual world increases in personal life, rese ...
In modern society, humans spend a lot of time in activities in the virtual world, such as exchanging e-mails with others, expressing thoughts and commenting on the Internet community. As the weight of the virtual world increases in personal life, research on virtuality is also being widely performed in various fields such as organization미 behavior, MIS, and digital media/contents. Although these previous studies reveal that the behaviors of commonor individuals are different in the virtual world and the real world, there is still a lack of attempts to explain the cause of such differences in behavior as a single integrated theory. The purpose of this study is to explain the difference of human behavior in the virtual world and the real world by introducing the concept of virtuality.
In this study, we define virtuality as a degree of perception of the situation in which it is different(or far) from actual reality, and (1) self, (2) interaction method, (3) target (4) the environment surrounding the self and the target. In addition, we will explain the hypothesis that the virtuality composed of these sub-elements affects individual's way of thinking and behavior based on the Construal Level Theory. Specifically, the difference in thinking style and behavior between the virtual world and the real world is due to the difference in interpretation level resulting from perceived virtuality, and in a situation with high virtuality (e.g. virtual world), while individuals feel psychological distances smaller than others in a low virtual situation (e.g. real world).
This research project was conducted for a total of two years, and a number of hypotheses were established and the experiment was conducted. In the first year, the main goal was to verify the relationship between virtuality and construal level theory. First, Paper 1 showed an interdependent relationship between virtuality and construal level using the experimental design method. It is shown that the manipulation of the virtuality affects individual’s construal level, and the manipulation of the construal level also affects the virtuality of the individual, so that the virtuality can act as one of the psychological distances in the construal level theory. Paper 2 showed that virtuality plays an important role not only in interpreting individual levels but also in processing subsequent information. The results of this study are as follows. First, we examined the effects of message appeal on advertising attitude and final product attitude. Paper 3 showed that the effect of virtual distance was focused on the product / content assortment. When the product assortment was provided, the choice was changed according to the virtuality, and when consumers were curation of various contents options, individuals create different curation contents set depending on their virtuality.
While in the first year, we focused on the verification of the theory that is the main focus of this study, in the second year, we set the main goal is to reveal how virtuality is related specifically to the behavioral changes of individuals. First, in Paper 4, we examine how virtuality, purchase point of time, and product information type affect the formation of consumer product attitudes. In the case of environment with low virtuality, consumers evaluated attribute-oriented products more positively than benefit-oriented products. In case of high virtual environment, consumers evaluated benefit-oriented products more positively than attribute-oriented products. In Paper 5, we will discuss the impact of virtuality on individual purchasing activities. Through all three experiments, we want to show that the sub-factors that make up virtuality affect the consumer's product selection criteria. Paper 6 deals with the effects of virtuality on individual opinion behavior. Through these two experiments, we want to see how the behavior and the way of activity of the individual are different in the situation of high virtuality compared to the case of low virtuality. In Paper 7, we have confirmed how virtuality affects attributional behavior (activities to find out the reason for external events). Through a total of two experiments, we found that the preference orientation (internal vs. external attribution) of individuals is different in situations with high virtuality and low situation.