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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Travel Grant Report by Hellen Vergoossen

07.06.2019, by Tina Keil in grant report

Stockholm University, Sweden; Visit to the University of Exeter, UK, with Dr. Thekla Morgenroth

Hellen Vergoossen (right) and Thekla Morgenroth in front of the Cathedral in Exeter
Hellen Vergoossen (right) and Thekla Morgenroth in front of the Cathedral in Exeter

During the EASP meeting “Gender Roles in the Future? Theoretical Foundations and Future Research Directions” in Berlin in 2017, Dr. Thekla Morgenroth and I struck up a conversation on stereotypes in videogames. It turned out we had a common interest in combining social psychology with videogames. During the time that followed, we started thinking about a collaboration. The project “The Player Behind the Avatar” was soon born. In this project, we apply Social Role Theory to role taking in videogames, in particular the social Massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) genre.

In 2018, I visited the University of Exeter to start up the project, and we completed our first pilots that would form the basis for larger data collections. With the generous support of the European Association of Social Psychology, I was able to visit again in May 2019 to prepare for our first big data collection.

Despite the ways we nowadays can work on research projects over long distances, it was valuable to be able to physically sit around the table (or stand in front of Exeter’s grand cathedral) with Dr. Morgenroth to prepare for our upcoming data collection. We are looking forward to presenting our first findings at the upcoming EASP General Meeting in Krakow in 2020 – which only seems fitting for a project that came to be at an EASP meeting.

I would like to thank Thekla Morgenroth for hosting me and developing this project with me. I am grateful to EASP for this great opportunity and making international collaborations with fellow social psychologists possible!