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Kathleen C. Gerbasi

Kathleen C. Gerbasi
Niagara County Community College retired 2019 · psychology

PhD

About

77
Publications
109,698
Reads
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1,723
Citations
Citations since 2016
57 Research Items
777 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
Introduction
Member of International Anthropomorphic Research Project https://sites.google.com/site/anthropomorphicresearch/ , Studies anthropomorphic and zoomorphic humans, e.g. furries and therians. Also interested in the application of Mindset (a la Dweck) to college student success.
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (77)
Article
Full-text available
In the present research we test the veracity of 36 stereotypes of otaku that have appeared in definitions and descriptions of otaku in various academic publications. We surveyed anime fans and examined differences between otaku and non-otaku fans, as well as gauge where fans fell on measures regarding each stereotype. Self-identified otaku tended t...
Article
Full-text available
In the present research, we examine what it means for fans to take their interests "too far" in a multi-fandom, qualitative study. Specifically, we asked self-identified anime fans, furries, and Star Wars fans to describe what, to them, marked the point where a fan could be said to be taking their interest too far. From these responses we extracted...
Preprint
In the present research, we examine what it means for fans to take their interests “too far” in a multi-fandom, qualitative study. Specifically, we asked self-identified anime fans, furries, and Star Wars fans to describe what, to them, marked the point where a fan could be said to be taking their interest too far. From these responses we extracted...
Preprint
In the present research we test the veracity of 36 stereotypes of otaku that have appeared in definitions and descriptions of otaku in various academic publications. We surveyed anime fans and examined differences between otaku and non-otaku fans, as well as gauge where fans fell on measures regarding each stereotype. Self-identified otaku tended t...
Article
We examined whether intragroup helping mediates the relationship between identification with one’s fandom and self-esteem and psychological well-being in three different samples of fans: bronies (fans of the television series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), anime fans (fans of Japanese animation and graphic novels), and furries (fans of anthr...
Article
Furries can be described as a mediacentric fandom, similar to other fandoms, which organizes around an interest in anthropomorphic art. Past research has also aimed to highlight and understand the sexual motivations of furries, leading to questions regarding the relative strength of fandom and sexual motivations for joining and maintaining membersh...
Article
Prior research demonstrates that a relationship exists between fan identification and psychological well-being. In the present research, we attempted to both conceptually replicate this finding, testing its generalizability in different fan groups and measured in different contexts, as well as extend it by testing whether fan friendships (Study 1)...
Book
Full-text available
Anime/manga (Japanese animation and comics) have been increasing in popularity worldwide for decades. But despite being a global phenomenon, there’s been surprisingly little psychological research formally studying its devoted fanbase. In this book we aim to do just that with an overview of nearly a decade of research by fan psychologists. Otaku an...
Article
In the present article we discuss three studies aimed at better understanding elitism in the context of fan groups. The studies assess different facets of elitism, predictors of elitism and the potential outcomes associated with holding elitist beliefs. The survey studies were conducted on members of three distinct fan groups: furries (fans of medi...
Article
Full-text available
We examined cosplaying and non-cosplaying anime fans' involvement in anime fandom drama, along with potential mediators underlying these differences. Anime fans completed a survey that included measures of cosplay participation, engaging with others within the context of the anime fandom, need to belong, and involvement in fandom drama. The results...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study, we examined the associations between sources of influence (anime content, anime creators, voice actors, other fans) within the anime fandom on a model of the antecedents and outcomes of global citizenship identification. Anime fans completed measures assessing sources of influence within the anime fandom and antecedents and ou...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study, we explored the associations between dimensions of parasocial connection and sex differences in connection of anime fans' favorite character. Anime fans listed their favorite anime character and rated dimensions of parasocial connection. Male and female fans did not differ in their choice of either male or female favorite char...
Article
Full-text available
Fan groups are communities which develop a shared identity around a specific topic or idea. Hentai fans identify as part of a group which celebrates a medium of illustrated or animated pornography. We examined the associations between hentai fan membership, feelings of ingroup identification, and perceptions of discrimination both toward themselves...
Chapter
In the present chapter we examine furries’ perceptions of drama within the fandom. Furries were asked to provide their own definition of fandom drama. The responses allowed us to extract three common themes: (1) drama involves interpersonal conflict, (2) drama involves a disproportionate escalation or overreaction to that conflict, and (3) drama in...
Chapter
In the present chapter, we give a brief overview of existing psychological research on dreams, the development of the furry dream project, and some of our preliminary findings from dreams collected at Anthrocon 2017. We answer questions such as: “Do furries’ dreams include more animal- or furry-themed content?” and “Does this change when furries at...
Chapter
In the present chapter we explore attitudes toward and prevalence of various sexual orientations within the furry fandom. We surveyed furries regarding their opinions of expressing sexual orientation in the furry fandom and how that differs from other fandoms. Responses suggest that it is easier to express non-mainstream sexual orientations in the...
Chapter
In the present chapter we explore how wide-spread anthropomorphic and zoomorphic characters are across different cultures and historical time periods. We argue that anthropomorphic characters are actually the norm, rather than the exception, embedded as they are throughout human civilization. Examples include the Egyptian Pantheon (e.g., Amun, Re,...
Chapter
In the present chapter we present an overview of research regarding fursonas from the International Anthropomorphic Research Project—also known as FurScience. Fursonas—anthropomorphic animal representations of the self—are nearly universal within the furry fandom. We examine the most popular species, why they are chosen, and how they are viewed by...
Chapter
In the present chapter we provide a brief summary of some of the more interesting comparisons we have observed between various fan groups over the past few years. We begin by talking about fairly superficial differences in the norms and content consumption of these fandoms before delving deeper into personality differences and differences in the tr...
Article
Furries are fans of anthropomorphic art and media. A unique component of the fandom is the creation of individualized fursonas – anthropomorphic animal-themed identities to represent oneself. In the present research, we examined the effects of experiencing a threat to one’s fandom-themed fantasy identity (fursona) or to oneself. Furries read about...
Article
In the present research we provide preliminary evidence of the convergent and divergent validity, test-retest reliability, and the utility of a single-item measure of media immersion. Convergent validity of the measure was demonstrated through positive correlations between the single-item measure and previously published measures of immersion with...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Rubber Hand Illusion (RHI) is an illusion of body ownership. This study investigates the RHI in furries: people who manifest interest in anthropomorphic animals through various combinations of costuming, roleplay, identification with a fursona, and unusual bodily experiences. Furry culture suggests two ways furries could differ from non-furries...
Preprint
Full-text available
Fan groups are communities which develop a shared identity around a specific topic or idea. Hentai fans identify as part of a group which celebrates a medium of illustrated or animated pornography. We examined the associations between hentai fan membership, feelings of ingroup identification, and perceptions of discrimination both toward themselves...
Article
Full-text available
The authors examined perceived discrimination directed toward one's fan group and toward oneself in multiple groups of fans. Specifically, furries, bronies, anime fans, and a group of miscellaneous fans completed measures assessing the extent to which they perceived discrimination toward both their fan group and toward themselves. Across all sample...
Article
Full-text available
We examined differences between cosplaying and non-cosplaying anime fans with regard to their motivation to participate in the anime fandom. Participants, all anime fans, completed scales assessing a myriad of possible motivations for anime fandom participation. Cosplayers rated all of the assessed motivations higher than non-cosplayers. The highes...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study we tested the hypothesis that cosplayers experience greater well-being than non-cosplayers within the anime fandom in part because they are more likely to disclose their fan identity to non-fans. Anime fans indicated whether they engaged in cosplaying or not, and rated the degree to which they disclose their anime fan identity...
Preprint
Full-text available
The authors examined perceived discrimination directed toward one’s fan group and toward oneself in multiple groups of fans. Specifically, furries, bronies, anime fans, and a group of miscellaneous fans completed measures assessing the extent to which they perceived discrimination toward both their fan group and toward themselves. Across all sample...
Preprint
Full-text available
We examined differences between cosplaying and non-cosplaying anime fans with regard to their motivation to participate in the anime fandom. Participants, all anime fans, completed scales assessing a myriad of possible motivations for anime fandom participation. Cosplayers rated all of the assessed motivations higher than non-cosplayers. The highes...
Preprint
In the present study we tested the hypothesis that cosplayers experience greater well-being than non-cosplayers within the anime fandom in part because they are more likely to disclose their fan identity to non-fans. Anime fans indicated whether they engaged in cosplaying or not, and rated the degree to which they disclose their anime fan identity...
Article
We compared face recognition of humans and fandom-themed characters (art and costumes) between a sample of furries (fans of anthropomorphic animal art) and non-furries. Participants viewed images that included humans, drawn anthropomorphic animals, and anthropomorphic animal costumes, and were later tested on their ability to recognize faces from a...
Article
Full-text available
We examined cosplayers' perceptions of their favorite character representing their actual, ideal, and ought self as predictors of identification with the character. In a large-scale survey study, cosplayers rated the degree to which they identified with their favorite character and rated the extent to which the character represented their actual, i...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the differences between participants completing measures of well-being at an anime convention and participants completing the same measures online and tested possible mediators of differences between the two groups. Participants, all self-identified anime fans, completed measures of anime convention attendance, of the nature of their en...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the prevalence rates of mental and neurodevelopmental illness among members of three different fandoms: anime, My Little Pony (brony), and furry. In total, nearly 2,600 fans across these groups self-reported whether or not they had ever been diagnosed with a psychological and/or neurodevelopmental illness. Data revealed that anime fans,...
Article
Full-text available
We tested whether there exist differences in the personality traits of anime fans who cosplay as compared to non-cosplaying anime fans. With regard to the Big Five personality traits, cosplayers scored higher than non-cosplayers on extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness. In contrast, non-cosplayers scored higher on emotional s...
Article
While anthropomorphizing nonhuman animals has been shown to increase identification with them and, by extension, concern for their wellbeing, little research has directly tested whether identifying with nonhuman animals is similarly associated with concern for their wellbeing. We tested hypotheses related to this premise across three cross-sectiona...
Article
Full-text available
We examined whether the psychological needs fulfilled by group membership predicted fanship (identification with a fan interest) and fandom (identification with other fans) among anime fans. Self-identified anime fans completed measures of fanship and fandom, as well as measures assessing the psychological needs met by their participation in the an...
Article
Full-text available
As a test of optimal distinctiveness theory, we examined the opposing motivations of inclusion/belongingness and differentiation/distinctiveness as predictors of group identification in a sample of anime fans. Participants were recruited from an anime convention and from anime-related websites and completed measures of inclusion, intergroup distinc...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the accuracy of perceptions of prejudice of members of two different fandoms: anime fans and furries. Anime and furry fans rated the perceived degree of prejudice of (a) ingroup members toward another group of fans, (b) their own prejudice toward another group of fans, and (c) the prejudice of another group of fans toward their ingroup....
Article
Full-text available
We tested Wann's (2006) team identification-social psychological health model in a sample of self-identified anime fans. Anime fans completed measures of fanship (a construct analogous to team identification), online and face-to-face friendship, and a multi-dimensional measure of well-being (i.e., physical, psychological, and relationship). The res...
Article
Full-text available
Across two studies, we examined the extent to which popular anime series contained sexist content and tested whether anime consumption and genre preference were associated with viewers' ambivalent sexism. In Study 1, we content-coded episodes from nine of the most popular anime series and found that women (vs. men) were underrepresented in anime an...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the extent to which anime fans believe in paranormal phenomena and whether these beliefs are associated with preferences for specific genres of anime. Anime fans rated their preference for a variety of different anime genres and completed a measure of paranormal beliefs. A comparison of anime fans' paranormal beliefs with a sample of un...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study, we examined routes to fandom membership and expressions of fan identity in members of the furry, anime, and fantasy sport fandoms. Participants from each fandom answered two open-ended questions asking how they discovered and became part of the fandom and how they expressed their fan interest. Furries primary cite the Internet...
Chapter
In the present chapter, we explore self-reported pathways to the discovery of the furry fandom and motivations for participation. The majority of furry fans discovered the fandom while browsing the internet. A common theme was that of searching for a particular interest and just happening to run across a furry-themed image or story. Further examina...
Chapter
In the present chapter, we tackle some of the common myths surrounding the furry fandom. Using data collected over the years from the International Anthropomorphic Research Project, we debunk myths including: (1) furries believe they are animals, (2) all furries wear fursuits, (3) furries are people with a fetish, (4) furries are delusional or dysf...
Chapter
A common anecdotal notion is that furry fans feel less happy after attending a furry convention—termed “post-con depression.” In the present chapter, we explore qualitative evidence for the presence of this phenomenon. Furry fans were surveyed at a furry convention, as well as a week after returning home from the convention. Responses centered arou...
Chapter
In the present chapter we explore meanings and conceptualizations of furries, therians, and otherkin. Based on qualitative and quantitative data collected by the International Anthropomorphic Research Project team, we provide tentative definitions and a discussion of the meanings of these self-labels. In general, furries are individuals who say the...
Article
Despite the prevalence of fantasy activities in day-to-day life, there has been little systematic psychological research on fantasy. Existing work is scattered across numerous fantasy-related topics and are rarely viewed as a collective body of work. We propose a scale of fantasy engagement that addresses this scattered and often-contradictory lite...
Article
In the present research, we examined fan entitlement among members of the furry fandom – a group of people with a shared interest in media and activities that feature anthropomorphic animals (animals given human-like features). We surveyed both fans and content creators in the fandom, which allowed us to test several predictors of fan entitlement (...
Article
We examined perceptions of optimal distinctiveness in the furry fandom and the relationship between this perception and identification with the furry fandom. Self-identified furries (N = 2998) completed measures of optimal distinctiveness that included felt inclusion/belongingness with the fandom and a measure of perceived group distinctiveness fro...
Book
Full-text available
The International Anthropomorphic Research Project is a group of social scientists conducting research to gain a better understanding of the furry fandom. In the present book we present the main findings from a variety of studies, including more than 10,000 furry participants, over the past five years. The book seeks to answer questions often asked...
Article
Full-text available
We tested the veracity of existing stereotypes about anime fans. Self-identified anime fans, both convention-going and online, completed a survey which assessed demographic variables and measures of stereotype-consistent behaviors, attitudes, and physical appearance. Furry fans, fantasy sport fans, and a sample of undergraduate college students ser...
Article
Full-text available
We examined several plausible motivators of fans in three different fandoms and the association of these motivators with fan group identification. Self-identified anime fans, furries, and fantasy sport fans completed measures of fanship (psychological connection with a fan interest), fandom (psychological connection with others sharing the same int...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we examined predictors of entitlement in three fan groups. Fan entitlement in the present research reflects a belief that one is deserving of special treatment or positive regard from others. Participants that self-identified as furry fans, anime fans, and fantasy sport fans completed measures concerning fan entitlement and four poss...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the content of anime fan stereotypes in a sample of non-fans (N = 146). Self-identified non-fans of anime wrote about a prototypical anime fan and rated the prototype’s personality their desired social distance from the prototype. Participants also rated their endorsement of specific stereotypes of anime fans, their perceptions of anime...
Article
Full-text available
Furries report in qualitative and quantitative studies that they feel discriminated against by the general public, but there are no published empirical data to support these claims. In this study we surveyed (N = 118) fantasy sport fans online to quantify their assessments of three fan groups: furry, brony, and anime. Using 50 as a neutral point, f...
Article
We examined furry fandom members’ anthrozoomorphic identity by investigating this subculture’s relationship with nonhuman animals. Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and two large-scale Internet and convention-based studies of furries, we developed (study 1; n = 4,338) and replicated (study 2; n = 1,707) the 10-item Species Connecti...
Article
Full-text available
In two studies, we examine ingroup favoritism within the furry community. Furry fans construct personas ("fursonas") that are often related to a species of animal (e.g., fox, wolf). In Study 1, furries were found to rate their fursona species more favorably than other species. In Study 2, we examined whether the ingroup projection model may aid in...
Chapter
Full-text available
In the present chapter we detail the stigmatizing portrayals of the furry fandom in the media, the challenges of publishing research about the fandom, and current and future efforts by the International Anthropomorphic Research Project team to combat negative and misguided perceptions of the furry fandom.
Chapter
In the present chapter we present a short history of the formation of the International Anthropomorphic Research Project.
Chapter
In the present chapter we present general statistics about the furry fandom to answer a number of questions that are often asked about furries (e.g., what is a furry, what are the demographics of the furry fandom, what is the content of the fandom?). Through the use of converging methodology that compares furries to interesting control groups, rese...
Chapter
In the present chapter we use a social identity theoretical perspective to examine the furry fandom. After reviewing social identity and self-categorization theories, we detail the results of empirical research utilizing the theories to examine furries’ psychological well-being, identity management, distinctiveness threats to the group, motivation...
Article
We investigated how group distinctiveness threats affect essentialist beliefs about group membership in a stigmatized fan community. An experiment conducted on 817 members of the fan community revealed that highly identified fans who perceived significant stigmatization were the most likely to endorse essentialist beliefs about group membership whe...
Article
Full-text available
In three studies of fan communities we examined differences in the Big Five personality traits between fans' personal and fan identities. In all three studies, self-identified furries completed a measure of the Big Five personality traits for both their personal and furry identity. In Study 1, furries were found to rate all five dimensions higher w...
Article
Full-text available
Furries, self-identified fans of anthropomorphism, report feeling significant social stigma. As a result, furries rarely reveal their furry identity to mental health professionals, for fear of judgment or disapproval. Improving health practitioners' familiarity with the furry identity may improve the quality of care for furries seeking treatment fo...
Article
Full-text available
The present research investigated the relationship between socio-structural characteristics of intergroup differences, identity concealment, and self-esteem in members of a stigmatized minority group. Structural equation modeling of survey responses collected at a convention showed that socio-structural characteristics interact to predict concealme...