Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Comedian's political humor affects potential voter's attitudes about candidates

Date:
November 5, 2012
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
Comedians publicly ridiculing a presidential candidate may cause audiences to have negative attitudes toward that individual, according to a new study.

Comedians publicly ridiculing a presidential candidate may cause audiences to have negative attitudes toward that individual, according to a study by Amy Bree Becker, Assistant Professor at Towson University.

Related Articles


The study, set to be published in the November 2012 issue of Mass Communication and Society, found that attitudes about a candidate were affected by viewing critical comedy content, irrespective of whether the viewer self-identified as a Republican or Democrat. In the study which focused on the 2008 presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain, some participants watched a video clip from The Colbert Report mocking the McCain campaign, while other participants viewed a clip of John McCain mocking himself on an episode of Saturday Night Live. While both Democratic and Republican participants appreciated McCain's self-deprecating humor, viewing the SNL clip did not result in a significant change in attitudes towards the Republican candidate. Viewing Colbert's hostile humor, however, resulted in significantly more negative evaluations of McCain.

"The results of this research point out both the negative consequences of being the constant target of political satire programming and the potential benefit of appearing on political comedy programs to engage in self-ridicule," Dr. Amy Bree Becker, the article's author said.

As the 2012 election nears, television shows such as The Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will continue to mock the presidential candidates. For example, Saturday Night Live has received heavy media coverage because of the show's humorous portrayals of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and Republican vice-presidential candidate, Paul Ryan. This research suggests that candidates may win over voters' attitudes if they can handle the ridicule, and even joke about it, rather than going on the defense.

"In reality, the critical comedy people are used to from programs like The Colbert Report and The Daily Show promotes negative attitudes toward the comic target, while self-directed humor may actually prove to be a very useful and strategic tool for candidates looking to appeal to voters," Dr. Becker said. "Moving forward, politicians will need to become more skilled at deflecting humor directed at them and also be able to tell a good joke."

Dr. Becker's study featured over 400 college-aged participants. The study measured their political interest, partisanship, and feelings toward politicians. The article entitled, "Comedy Types and Political Campaigns: The Differential Influence of Other-Directed Hostile Humor and Self-Ridicule on Candidate Evaluations," was researched and written by Dr. Amy Bree Becker, Towson University.

About Mass Communication and Society Mass Communication and Society is a scholarly journal focused on publishing articles from a wide variety of perspectives and approaches that advance mass communication theory, especially at the societal or macro-social level. It draws heavily from many other disciplines, including sociology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, law, and history.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "Comedian's political humor affects potential voter's attitudes about candidates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105195950.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2012, November 5). Comedian's political humor affects potential voter's attitudes about candidates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105195950.htm
Taylor & Francis. "Comedian's political humor affects potential voter's attitudes about candidates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105195950.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins