Political Personalities, Ironic Isn’t It? Nicole vandeVliet Advisor: Dr. Young Department: Communication
Old v. NewOld: Content determines humor preferences
Old v. NewNew: Structure of humor determines preferences
Huh? Humor is being increasinglyfound in our political system.Politicians frequent talk shows and comedy shows Satirical news shows are extremely popular
Research ApplicationsHelp us to better understand comedy and our own preferencesCan be used by politicians and comedians to appeal to their target audiences
Psychological Differences between LIberals and Conservatives There are obvious belief differences between liberals and conservatives. What if these differences extend to psychological traits?
My personal space is usually When faced with a problem I usually messy and disorganized.see the one best solution very quickly I enjoy the uncertainty of going into a newI feel uncomfortable when someones situation without knowing what mightmeaning or intention is unclear to me. happen.I hate to change my plans at the last Even after Ive made up my mind about minute. something, I am always eager to consider a different opinion.
Need for Cognitive ClosureThe motivation to quickly formulate and maintain a clear opinion on an issue,rather than acceptive confusion and ambiguity (Kruglanski & Webster, 1996) Aaron Johnson Paul Pulszartti
I really enjoy a task that involves coming up with new solutions to problems. I prefer my life to be filled with puzzles that I must solve. I would prefer complex to simple problems.I find satisfaction indeliberating hard andfor long hours.
Need for CognitionAn individuals tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive endeavors
Linking Personality Traits and Ideologyresearch has shown these personality traits to be linked topolitical ideology and (Jost & Amodio, 2010; Sargent, 2004; Wiersema, van der Schalk, & van Kleef, 2011)aesthetic preferences (Wilson et al. 1973, Ruch 2007)If P is linked to I, and P is linked to A, then is I linked toA?
Survey Participants1079 participants who were previously recruited to be partof a survey panelDelaware Residents18+
Survey DesignPersonality Traits Measured - Post-Modern World View - Need to Evaluate - Need for Closure - Need for Cognition - Tolerance for Ambiguity
Survey DesignVideo Stimuli -Participants randomly assigned to one of three conditions -Each condition contains three humorous video in random order -videos vary in humor structureVideo Responses -Stimulus evaluation questions -open ended: what was the main point?
What’s Next?Collect DataCompare psychological traits to humor preferences andideologyLook for patterns
Expected OutcomesPreference for irony will be linked with those who expresslow need for closure, high need for cognition, and expressmore liberal beliefsPreference for exaggerated humor will be linkedwith those high in need for closure, low in need forcognition, and express more conservative beliefs
SummaryAn emerging theory states that humor structure determinespreference.These preferences may be predicted by personality traits andpolitical ideology.In my research, these connections between humor preference,personality traits, and political ideology are explored throughsurveys.If strong connections are found, results can be used by politiciansand comedians to appeal to existing audiences, and even draw innew support.
Thank YouDr. Dannagal Young for her hands-on approach toundergraduate research and constant supportUndergraduate Research Program, especially MegMeiman and Lynette Overby, for developing a great program andaccepting me into it.Center for Political Communications, for their funding,belief in the project, and for providing a fantastic panelMy Research Group, for their suggestions and constructivecriticism that helped to shape this presentation