Studies conducted in Chronos Laboratory primarily concern interactions between people and media content and technologies. This area of work is sometimes described as media psychology, mass communication, or media processes and effects.

Although much of the work in this lab is situated in video game contexts, the broader focus of the research is developing and testing theories about how social context influences emotion, cognition, and behavior.

We apply interdisciplinary perspectives (i.e. communication science, evolutionary biology, psychology, gender studies) in developing quantitative (e.g. content analysis, survey, experimental) and qualitative (e.g. in-depth interview) studies. Current studies being conducted in the lab are investigating phenomena related to social identities in video games and how people engage with emotional content in video games.

Lab Publications

Lynch, T., Matthews, N. L., Gilbert, M., Jones, S., & Freiberger, N. (2022). Explicating how skill determines the qualities of user-avatar bonds. Frontiers in Psychology.13:713678.

Bonus, J. A., Lynch, T., Nathanson, A. I., & Watts, J. (2022). Counter-stereotypical, yet counterproductive? Investigating children’s responses to narratives that defy gender stereotypes. Media Psychology.

Gilbert, M., Lynch, T., Burridge, S., & Archipley, L. (2021). Formidability of male video game characters over 45 years. Information, Communication and Society.

Tompkins, J. E., Lynch, T., van Driel, I. I. , & Fritz, N.  (2020). Kawaii killers and femme fatales: A textual analysis of female characters signifying benevolent and hostile sexism in video games. Journal of Electronic Broadcasting & Media. doi: 10.1080/08838151.2020.1718960

Read, G. L, Lynch, T., & Matthews, N. L. (2018). Increased cognitive load during video game play reduces rape myth acceptance and hostile sexism after exposure to sexualized female avatars. Sex Roles. (link)

Lynch, T. (2018). Evolutionary formidability mechanisms as moderators of fear experience. In J. Breuer, D. Pietschmann, B. Liebold, & B. P. Lange (Eds.), Evolutionary Psychology and Digital Games: Digital Hunter-Gatherers. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Tompkins, J. E. &L ynch, T. (2018). The concerns surrounding sexist content in digital games. In C. Ferguson (Ed.), Video Game Influences on Aggression, Cognition, and Attention. New York: Springer.

Lynch, T. & Matthews, N. L. (2017). Life and death. In J. Banks (Ed.), Avatars, Assembled: The Sociotechnical Anatomy of Digital Bodies. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing. (link)

Lynch, T., Tompkins, J. E., van Driel, I., & Fritz, N. (2016) Sexy, strong, and secondary: An analysis of female videogame characters from 1983 to 2014. Journal of Communication, 66, 564-584. doi: 10.1111/jcom.12237 (link)

Matthews, N. L., Lynch, T., & Martins, N. (2016). Real ideal: Investigating how normal and ideal video game bodies affect men and women. Computers in Human Behavior, 59, 155-164. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2016.01.026 (link)

Lynch, T. & Martins, N. (2015). Nothing to fear? An analysis of college students’ fear experiences with video games. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 59(2), 298-317. doi: 10.1080/08838151.2015.1029128 (link)

Check out current research assistant, Donald Neidecker-Gonzales’ interview with Dr. Lynch to discuss what we know about video games and character sexualization.