In recent years superhero movies have skyrocketed in popularity, bringing with them plots and characters that tend to exhibit high levels of aggression. As social learners, humans often learn from what they observe, and especially emulate characters they admire – including fictional superheroes and villains. Consequently, this study content analyzed non-physical aggressions (verbal aggression, relational aggression, and violent ideation) in the top 25 highest grossing superhero movies between 2005 and 2015. Results found an average of 171.8 acts of non-physical aggression per movie. Females in these movies were also significantly more likely to engage in verbal and relational aggressions, which contributes to gender stereotypes about aggression. Unfortunately, due to a failure in intercoder reliability testing, these results are unreliable.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Communications
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Gillespie, Ian Trent, "Social Supers: A Content Analysis of Non-Physical Aggressions in Popular Superhero Movies" (2016). All Theses and Dissertations. 6127.
verbal aggression, relational aggression, violent ideation, superheroes, movies