Bowman, N. D., Hallett, J., & Boyan, A. (2012, April). Squid or                  Chalkie? The role of self-identify and se...
Overview• Character identification is a known influence  on entertainment outcomes• “Archie Bunker effect” (Vidmar & Rokea...
Overview• Hillbillies in the media rarely shown in a  positive light; few chances for identification• Few potential except...
Theoretical Model• RQ: Might “Archie Bunker effect” be a feature  of perceived tendentiousness of humor  (Zillmann & Bryan...
Method• N = 80 college students  from a small, private  Southeastern college      – 53 female, Mage = 20.7,        (SD = 1...
“a popular animated series”• Squidbillies, on [adult swim]• Two episodes      – “Reunited, and It Feels No Good”      – “N...
Method• Yuppie vs. Hillbilly identification (novel)• Character Identification, adapted (Vidmar &  Rokeach, 1974)• Social A...
(Pre)Results                              All measurements were found                              reliable, with only Soc...
Results04/25/12   (c) ND Bowman, 2012   9
Discussion• Theoretical model largely supported, with the  addition character liking driving perceptions of  humor as tend...
Discussion“This data is particularly compelling in light of Author’s (2010) analysis, which usedthe dramatistic pentad (Bu...
Discussion• Theoretical model largely supported, with the  addition character liking driving perceptions of  humor as tend...
Future Research• Replication of novel scales      – Yuppie vs. Hillbilly Identification      – Tendentious Humor• Few iden...
Conclusion• Culturally-driven character identification  drives character linking, which:      – Directly influences enjoym...
Thank you!• In progress research, so for information:Nicholas David Bowman, Ph.D.Nicholas.Bowman@mail.wvu.edu@bowmansparta...
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Squid or Chalkie? The role of self-identify and selective perception in processing tendentious humor

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Borrowing from the selective perception hypothesis (Hastorf & Cantril, 1954) and inspired by the ‘Archie Bunker effect’ (Vidmar & Rokeach, 1974), the current study examines how cultural identification as Hillbilly or Yuppie guides interpretations and enjoyment of culturally-specific tendentious humor. Two episodes of the popular [adult swim] program Squidbillies were shown to college students from both cultural groups, as past work using Burke’s dramastic pentad (Authors, 2010) identified these episodes as using Hillbilly humor to critique the “banality and absurdity of the Yuppie status quo” (para 5). Path analyses connecting viewer identification, character identification, character liking, perceived humorous intent, and enjoyment demonstrate that as Yuppie identification increases, enjoyment suffers as a result of perceiving the show’s humor as increasingly tendentious.

Citation: Bowman, N. D., Hallett, J., & Boyan, A. (2012, April). Squid or Chalkie? The role of self-identify and selective perception in processing tendentious
Humor. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Boston-Cambridge

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  • Nice Start
  • H1: Individuals who self-identify more with a particular social group (e.g., Hillbilly or Yuppie) should identify more strongly with the relevant character from that social group than the relevant character from the other social group. H2: Individuals who identify with a character from one social group (e.g. Hillbilly or Yuppie) should have more favorable opinions of that character than the character from the other social group. H3: Individuals who report favorable opinions of Hillbilly characters should enjoy the show more so than those with favorable opinions of Yuppie characters. RQ1: Will an individual’s interpretation of the tendentious nature of the show’s humor moderate the relationship between favorable opinions of show characters and enjoyment?
  • Squid or Chalkie? The role of self-identify and selective perception in processing tendentious humor

    1. 1. Bowman, N. D., Hallett, J., & Boyan, A. (2012, April). Squid or Chalkie? The role of self-identify and selective perception in processing tendentious Humor. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Boston-Cambridge. Why the Chalkies hate the Squids!Nicholas David Bowman, WVU Jennifer Hallett, YHCAndrew Boyan, Albion College
    2. 2. Overview• Character identification is a known influence on entertainment outcomes• “Archie Bunker effect” (Vidmar & Rokeach, 1974) “All In The Family” topped Nielsen charts from 1971 to 1983.04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 2
    3. 3. Overview• Hillbillies in the media rarely shown in a positive light; few chances for identification• Few potential exceptions/archetypes While not overtly positive on its surface, Jed Clampett is usually the voice of reason in an otherwise crazy modern world04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 3
    4. 4. Theoretical Model• RQ: Might “Archie Bunker effect” be a feature of perceived tendentiousness of humor (Zillmann & Bryant, 1980)04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 4
    5. 5. Method• N = 80 college students from a small, private Southeastern college – 53 female, Mage = 20.7, (SD = 1.52)• Mass screening of “a popular animated series” – Two episodes, 23 minutes total04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 5
    6. 6. “a popular animated series”• Squidbillies, on [adult swim]• Two episodes – “Reunited, and It Feels No Good” – “Not Without My Cash Cow”` “Although on its surface the show appears to be yet another satire about hillbillies and rednecks, further investigation into the show’s narrative reveals an emergent concept of otherness in how the writers portray non- Appalachian groups, specifically suburban whites (referred to as “yogurt lovin’ ‘Chalkies’”). In these depictions, the writers use satire to express a sense of self-depreciating humor toward their own [Chalkie] culture (Bowman & Groskopf, 2009, para. 1)04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 6
    7. 7. Method• Yuppie vs. Hillbilly identification (novel)• Character Identification, adapted (Vidmar & Rokeach, 1974)• Social Attractiveness (McCroskey & McCain, 1974), transformed for one score [(Early SA score – Durwood SA score) + 5] * -1• Tendentious humor (novel)• Enjoyment, adapted (Raney & Bryant, 2002)04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 7
    8. 8. (Pre)Results All measurements were found reliable, with only Social Attractiveness dropping below Cronbach’s α < .80 (~ .75 for both characters)04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 8
    9. 9. Results04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 9
    10. 10. Discussion• Theoretical model largely supported, with the addition character liking driving perceptions of humor as tendentious or not.• Unlike “Archie Bunker effect”, those identifying heavily as Yuppie did not enjoy the show or its premises – Yuppies viewed as persecuted ingroup rather than Hillbillies viewed as persecuted outgroup04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 10
    11. 11. Discussion“This data is particularly compelling in light of Author’s (2010) analysis, which usedthe dramatistic pentad (Burke, 1945; 1950) paired with personal interviews with theshow’s writers to determine that indeed these two episodes of Squidbillies wereparticularly crafted to invite a largely Yuppie audience along for a critique ofthemselves and their own culture. Unfortunately for producers, data from our studysuggests that Yuppies – or at least, those Yuppies identified herein – did not enjoybeing the targets of derision, and in fact enjoyment suffered as identification withYuppies characters increased. This negative relationship suggestsperhaps that the eventual goal of the tendentious humor ispotentially lost on the very audience for whom it wasintended.”04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 11
    12. 12. Discussion• Theoretical model largely supported, with the addition character liking driving perceptions of humor as tendentious or not.• Unlike “Archie Bunker effect”, those identifying heavily as Yuppie did not enjoy the show or its premises – Yuppies as persecuted ingroup rather than Hillbillies as persecuted outgroup04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 12
    13. 13. Future Research• Replication of novel scales – Yuppie vs. Hillbilly Identification – Tendentious Humor• Few identified with Early, so cross- comparisons were not possible in this data• Consider genre expectations and perceived humorous intentions• More sophisticated methods of measuring Identification with characters/archetypes04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 13
    14. 14. Conclusion• Culturally-driven character identification drives character linking, which: – Directly influences enjoyment – Indirectly influences enjoyment via perceptions of humor tendentiousness• This process can counterbalance subtle intentions of show producers (in this case, to show the absurdity of Yuppie lifestyle to Yuppies)04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 14
    15. 15. Thank you!• In progress research, so for information:Nicholas David Bowman, Ph.D.Nicholas.Bowman@mail.wvu.edu@bowmanspartan04/25/12 (c) ND Bowman, 2012 15

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