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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/225

Title: Identity in digital space: A phenomenological study with narrative therapy implications
Authors: Hammond, Natasha
Supervisor(s): Jerry, Paul (Faculty of Health Sciences, Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology)
Examining Committee: Fraser, Shawn (Internal) (Faculty of Health Disciplines, Centre for Nursing and Health Studies)
Heller, Bob (External) (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Centre for Social Sciences/Psychology)
Degree: Master of Counselling
Department: Faculty of Health Disciplines
Keywords: Digital Identity Development
Narrative Therapy
Second Life
D. Mann
Issue Date: 20-Apr-2017
Abstract: Immersive technology has been used to explore therapeutic strategies, primarily through cognitive-behavioural therapy and exposure-based methods. The aim of this project was to gain insight into the nature of identity in digital space. Five long-term Second Life users participated in a semistructured interview using Skype. A phenomenological analysis was used to determine how long-term Second Life users perceive and describe their experience of their avatar identity over time; and, whether a virtual environment with an avatar feature provides an opportunity for individuals to externalize and experience alternative storylines to influence real life individual identity. Mann’s (1994) theory of selfhood was used to conceptualize avatar identity development. Time, relationships, and change emerged as primary themes and provided support for Mann’s theory and Yee and Bailenson’s (2007) Proteus Effect. Sample characteristics and particicipant and researcher biases may have influenced the results. The author discusses the implications for Narrative Therapy.
Graduation Date: Jun-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/225
Appears in Collections:Theses & Dissertations

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