How important is the avatar?

Now, there’s a good question, in our brand aware world – does your photo make a difference to – not only how you are approached – but whether you get cited?

Can an academic’s profile picture on a university website influence their citation record or their student survey results? Psychologists have posed that question in a journal article suggesting that scholars “reveal more about ourselves than we think”.

When cognitive neuroscientist Owen Churches took up a post as a research fellow at the University of South Australia, delays in setting up a laboratory led him to devise research that could be done without one. He was asked to submit a photograph for the university’s website and wondered whether he had unwittingly picked one designed “to give an impression of being more scientific and less emotional” – and whether others did the same.

Read full story.