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Applying the multi-Threat framework of stereotype threat in the context of digital gaming

Pennington, Charlotte; Kaye, Linda K.; McCann, Joseph J.


Charlotte Pennington

Linda K. Kaye

Joseph J. McCann


Marina A. Pavlova


© 2018 Pennington et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Females often report experiencing stigmatisation pertaining to their competency in digital gaming communities. Employing the principles of the multi-Threat framework of stereotype threat, the current research examined the impact of gender-related stereotypes on females' gaming performance and related self-perceptions. In Experiment 1, 90 females were assigned to one of three conditions in which they were primed that their performance would be either diagnostic of their personal (self-As-Target) or gender group's ability (group-As-Target) or would be non-diagnostic of gaming ability (control). In Experiment 2, 90 females were primed that their performance would be judged by a group of other females (in-group source) or males (out-group source), or would be non-diagnostic of ability (control). Participants then completed a casual gaming task, as well as measures of competence beliefs, self-efficacy and self-esteem. Findings from Experiment 1 indicate that neither a self-As-Target nor a group-As-Target stereotype affected significantly gaming performance, or gamerelated self-efficacy, self-esteem and competency beliefs. Findings from Experiment 2 reveal further that females' gaming performance and associated self-perceptions were not impacted significantly by an in-group or out-group source of stereotype threat. The discussion turns to potential explanations for these findings, proposing that females may not perceive negative gender-gaming stereotypes to be an accurate representation of their personal or social group's gaming ability. We also discuss the implications of the experimental design and difficulty, as well as the potential for domain identification to moderate performance outcomes under stereotype threat.


Pennington, C., Kaye, L. K., & McCann, J. J. (2018). Applying the multi-Threat framework of stereotype threat in the context of digital gaming. PLoS ONE, 13(2), e0192137.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 17, 2018
Publication Date Feb 1, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 23, 2018
Journal PLoS ONE
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 2
Pages e0192137
Keywords Research Article, Biology and life sciences, Social sciences, Research and analysis methods
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