VIRTUAL WORLD Settings
Virtual world environments, such as Second Life, offer inter-group relations researchers with an opportunity to collect acutely precise behavioral data from participants interacting in real time social environments. The BIAS lab has used virtual worlds to study how resource competition affects relationships between Blacks and Asians. For example, Black and Asian participants created self-resembling avatars (such as those pictured to the right) and interacted in social events designed to simulate competitive contexts with a zero-sum resource economy. In such settings Blacks and Asians tend to have increased physical distance towards one another over time, and tend to be less likely to select each other as peers.