Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Peggy J. Cantrell

Committee Members

Andrea D. Clements, Jon B. Ellis


This study examined adults’ perceptions of aggression in toys and toy commercials targeted toward young boys. The subjects, 262 undergraduate psychology students, completed the Buss/Perry Aggression Questionnaire and rated either a videotape of 10 boy-oriented toy commercials or slides of 10 non-advertised boy-toys. Parental status, exposure to an advertised versus non-advertised toy, and level of self-reported aggression were assessed to determine their relationship to perceptions of aggressiveness in a toy’s image and predicted play with the toy.

Univariate analyses of variance and paired sample t-tests were conducted. The results indicate that toys advertised in commercials are judged to portray more aggressive images than non-advertised toys. Additionally, a person’s tolerance of aggression in his or her own life may influence his/her perceptions that aggression is acceptable in certain situations, such a fantasy toy play. Finally, gender stereotyping still appears to be influential in determining appropriate toy play for boys and girls.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.