"Girls can't play":the effects of stereotype threat on females' gaming performance

Kaye, Linda and Pennington, Charlotte Rebecca (2016) "Girls can't play":the effects of stereotype threat on females' gaming performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 59. pp. 202-209. ISSN 0747-5632

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The current study examined the impact of stereotype threat on female online gamers' performance and further examined whether manipulating the availability of multiple social identities effectively eliminated these performance decrements. Further, participants' implicit attitudes towards female online gamers were assessed. Eighty-one participants (60 female) were assigned to one of four experimental conditions: 1), stereotype threat, 2), multiple social identities, 3), female control, and 4), male control. They completed an Implicit Association Test and a gaming task. The number of coins collected in a 5-min time period provided a measure of gameplay performance. Results indicated that stereotype threatened females underperformed on the gaming task relative to males in the control condition. The intervention of multiple social identities successfully protected females' gameplay performance from stereotype threat. Additionally, differences were found between conditions in implicit attitudes pertaining to gender-gaming competence. This research highlights the harmful effects of negative stereotypes on females' gaming performance, and suggests that these decrements may be eliminated when females identify with an alternative positive social identity.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Computers in Human Behavior
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Computers in Human Behavior. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Computers in Human Behavior, 59, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2016.02.020
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Deposited On:
12 Oct 2016 13:42
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 01:57