Date of Award
Master of Arts - Psychology
Dr. Nathan Sparkman
Dr. Sarah Savoy
Dr. Scott Drury
Dr. Megan Condis
Fictional superheroes possess characteristics that can be identified with on a human level (e.g., gender and race); however, their superhuman nature may lead them be evaluated as a distinct outgroup. The current study attempted to assess how racial and gender attitudes may affect perceptions of superheroes and how other participant characteristics may impact ratings. The current study found that gender and race influenced evaluations of perceived attributes of superhero drawings. Figures depicted with an unnatural skin tone were rated less favorably. Although, there were no differences between ratings of Black and White heroes, Black heroes were consistently rated higher, particularly when compared to the alien group. Female heroes were rated less strong and more intelligent; however, males were rated higher in leadership. The results of the current study provided evidence that minority group members may be subtyped and that gender stereotypes may persist even in the evaluation of superhuman characters.
Sanchez, Emily A., "Influence of Stereotyping and Prejudices on Perceptions of Superheroes" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 154.
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