Tiltfactor founding director Mary Flanagan and Tiltfactor alum Gili Freedman (currently Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at St. Mary’s College of Maryland) recently collaborated on an article entitled “The Effect of Embodying a Woman Scientist in Virtual Reality on Men’s Gender Biases” for the peer-reviewed, open-access journal Technology, Mind, and Behavior.
Flanagan and Freedman, along with collaborators Max Seidman (Tiltfactor Senior Game Designer) and Melanie Green (Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Communication at the University of Buffalo) tested “whether embodying a woman scientist in virtual reality (VR) leads to more positive attitudes toward women in STEM.”
In their study, 96 undergraduate men played Tiltfactor’s VR game Entangled, which features a scientist whose gender is only revealed at a later point in the game. By comparing attitudes towards women and female scientists across participants in the woman and male scientist conditions, they found that “VR interventions may decrease some negative attitudes toward women in STEM but are not a panacea for the pervasive biases against women in STEM.”
Read their full findings online and check out Entangled on the Steam Store if you want to test these biases yourself!