Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - Psychology



First Advisor

Dr. Nathan Sparkman

Second Advisor

Dr. Sarah Savoy

Third Advisor

Dr. Scott Drury

Fourth Advisor

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.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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