"Effects of Diverse Films on Minority Women"
    Salena Diaz
M.A. in Experimental Psychology
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Nicole Iannone
Presentation Abstract
According to Crenshaw’s concept of intersectionality, as members of two minority groups, women of color may be susceptible to unique forms of discrimination and stereotyping (1989). A great deal of research based on the parasocial contact hypothesis suggests that both prejudicial and stereotypical views of minority outgroup members can be reduced through positive, counter-stereotypical media representations (Ramasubramanian, 2015; Schiappa, Gregg, & Hewes, 2005). Less research, however, has demonstrated how these representations affect the minority group members themselves. In this study, participants will consist solely of non-White minority women. One group will be shown a scene from the 2018 Marvel film Black Panther, in which an African-American female scientist shows the male protagonist how to operate the technologically advanced super suit that she has designed and constructed. Another group will be shown a similar scene from the 2010 Marvel film Iron Man 2 in which a White male scientist demonstrates the use of the technologically advanced super suit that he has designed and constructed. They will then respond to questions assessing their self-esteem, self-efficacy, and well-being. It is hypothesized that African-American women will report higher levels of self esteem, self efficacy, and well being after watching Black Panther than after watching Iron Man 2

Keywords: Intersectionality, parasocial contact, media, self-esteem, self-efficacy, gender, race, superheroes  

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