Date of Award

12-12-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kevin Swartout

Second Advisor

Dominic Parrott

Third Advisor

Heather Offutt

Abstract

Adverse effects of video game violence have been well documented in psychology research for decades. As technology advances, violence depicted in games becomes more realistic and features more diverse types of aggression. A new trend in violent games is the depiction of women as sexualized targets of violence. Research suggests that exposure to sexual content and violence in games can be harmful to both male and female players, but no studies to date have looked at specific differences in outcomes based on the victim’s gender in a violent game. The present study examines how opponents’ gendered appearance in a violent video game affects players’ implicit attitudes related to gender and gender violence. By having 235 undergraduates play a game fighting either male or female opponents, I found that women who fought female opponents expressed more negative implicit attitudes toward women.

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