Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Do casual gaming environments evoke stereotype threat? Examining the effects of explicit priming and avatar gender

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


Linda K. Kaye

Charlotte Pennington

Joseph J. McCann


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Despite relatively equal participation rates between females and males in casual gaming, females often report stigmatisation and prejudice towards their gaming competency within this sub-domain. Applying the theoretical framework of “stereotype threat”, this research examined the influence of explicit stereotype priming on females' casual gameplay performance and related attitudes. It also investigated whether the gender of the game avatar heightens susceptibility to stereotype threat. One hundred and twenty females were allocated randomly to one of four experimental conditions in a 2 (Condition: Stereotype threat, Control) x 2 (Avatar gender: Feminine, Masculine) between-subjects design. They completed a short gaming task and measures of social identity, competence beliefs, gameplay self-efficacy and self-esteem. Findings indicate that priming explicitly a negative gender-related stereotype did not appear to have a significant detrimental impact on gameplay performance or gameplay-related attitudes. Additionally, gameplay performance was not affected significantly by manipulating the gender of the gaming avatar. These findings suggest that, although females appear to be knowledgeable about negative gender-gaming stereotypes, these might not impact performance. Moreover, females tend not to endorse these beliefs as a true reflection of their gaming ability, representing a positive finding in view of the prevailing negative attitudes they face in gaming domains.


Kaye, L. K., Pennington, C., & McCann, J. J. (2018). Do casual gaming environments evoke stereotype threat? Examining the effects of explicit priming and avatar gender. Computers in Human Behavior, 78, 142-150.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 23, 2017
Online Publication Date Sep 25, 2017
Publication Date Jan 1, 2018
Deposit Date Sep 27, 2017
Journal Computers in Human Behavior
Print ISSN 0747-5632
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 78
Pages 142-150
Keywords stereotype threat, digital gaming, competence, self-concept, gender, avatars, video games
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations