Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Thesis - Open Access

Open Access


First Advisor

Michael Cramer

Second Advisor

David Sivesind

Third Advisor

Meghan Jablonski


Little research has been done on some ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) individuals' relationship to animated works ( ex. cartoons, anime, video games). Most existing content, dominated by allistic (non-autistic) voices, fetishizes ASD experiences and narrowly focuses on proving individuals with ASD lack theory of mind, social empathy and social initiation. This study aims to explore external and internal reasons that some A.SD individuals might be drawn to animated works and how this parasocial relationship potentially impacts theory of mind, social empathy, and social initiation. To gain more insight, original interviews have been conducted on both ASD and allistic participants about their sensory, emotional and social experiences engaging with animated works, along with questions about preferences for animated works vs. live action. While there isn't enough to evidence to support or rebuke the hypotheses, a rich amount of information has been gathered from these firsthand accounts that could potentially benefit future studies on the relationship between neurodivergency and animated works.

Included in

Psychology Commons