Publications of Nagy, Peter

Who is portrayed in Second Life: Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? The extent of congruence between real life and virtual identity

Virtual social environments opened the door to individual experiences that may not be feasible or possible in real physical settings; in turn bringing to question the applicability of certain more traditional theories to digital environments. Addressing some of this gap in the available literature, in the current study, we compare virtual and real life identities simultaneously, as well as explore the impact of selfconsciousness on virtual identity. Our results indicate that while some of the overall trends are similar between identities constructed in the physical world and those constructed in virtual settings, different identity elements and dimensions tend to be emphasized to different degrees. Furthermore, we find evidence for the role of private in addition to public self-consciousness as influencing virtual existence. In other words, in addition to the general emphasis concerning the role of socially influenced external elements in the formulation of virtual identities, the current study highlights the importance of more internalized and individual level attitudes and perceptions, including one’s inner thoughts, emotions, and perspectives. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Facebook usage patterns and school attitudes

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore teenagers' and young adults' use of social networking sites (SNS), in light of certain personal, social and educational outcomes and attitudes. Design/methodology/approach – Data were gathered on the basis of surveys, and were analyzed through a series of multivariate models. Findings – It was found that participants' reasons and motivations for online presence varied as a function of gender and age. Different degrees of Facebook usage were linked with different school-related attitudes. More specifically, more extensive usage was associated with more negative school and peer attitudes; more so for females and for college students. Furthermore, greater reliance on online interactions for social and emotional support was found disadvantageous for college students, while neutral or in some cases beneficial for high school students. Research limitations/implications – Gender and educational level appear to be important factors explaining some of the variation in school-related attitudes, and thus should be explored separately. Practical implications – The differential impact of online presence on school attitudes for college and high school students highlights the need for teachers and student advisors to be sensitive to such transitional groups. Social implications – The authors found that more popular students, those often viewed as “opinion leaders”, tended to show more negative school outcomes than less popular students in general; a relevant point for organizations. Originality/value – Facebook usage and school-related attitudes were observed simultaneously in high school and college populations studying in Budapest, Hungary.

Virtual Customers behind Avatars: The Relationship between Virtual Identity and Virtual Consumption in Second Life

This paper examines the relationship between virtual identity and virtual consumption in Second Life. More specifically, we investigate the tendency to link the virtual world to reality through the concept of identity, and explore the role consumption and business endeavors play in this process. Information was obtained from comments posted on four Second Life forums, focusing on the general themes of virtual avatars, aspects of business activities, and their mutual impact on each other. Qualitative narrative research analysis was employed. From our results, three distinct categories emerged on the basis of residents’ immersion to Second Life; 1) purely virtual, 2) mixed, and 3) realist. We highlight particular characteristics associated with each of these clusters, with suggestions aiming to capture the various demands and preferences of each corresponding group. In terms of business activities, residents appeared quite demanding, identifying high quality products and professional services as the basis for business success in virtual settings. The business approaches most likely identified to lead to success or failure associated with certain businesses confirm that online environments differ substantially from physical and real world markets, with trust being a particularly sensitive issue in these anonym and fully disembodied contexts. Further implications for organizations and scholars are discussed.