|Title||Can Comedy Be Convincing?|
|C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale||
One of the canonical questions in social psychology, political science, and political communication is how persuasion operates. Since the original studies on the effectiveness of mass propaganda (e.g., Lasswell 1938; Smith, Lasswell and Casey 1946), scholars have sought to understand the components of successful persuasive appeals: the identity of the messenger, the contents of the message, and how it is delivered. In the latter category reside all of the classical tools of rhetoric -- figurative language, logical structure, satire -- as well as more recent factors such as the type of medium employed. In this study, we hope to inaugurate a new line of research that returns to these fundamental concerns using cutting-edge methods.
Our observation is that one of the most commonly used rhetorical tools, both in political discourse and in everyday discussion, has hardly ever been studied in a systematic manner. That tool is humor. "Humor is the affectionate communication of insight," said Leo Rosten, and anyone who has sought to convince others of their point of view has likely stumbled upon the disarming power of a well-delivered joke. Yet this proverbial arrow in the rhetorical quiver has rarely been subjected to the sort of rigorous scrutiny that other components of the persuasive process have undergone in the research literature. We seek to remedy this oversight with a research program that merges the concerns of political theorists in the deliberative tradition and more recent quantitative research in political communication.
|C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?||
H1: The humorous treatment video will cause subjects to be more supportive of gun control, on average, than the serious treatment video.
|C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *||
Our design is modeled on experimental studies of media effects and persuasion. First, we gather a sample using Amazon's Mechanical Turk. After asking a standard set of demographic and political questions --
|C4 Country||United States of America|
|C5 Scale (# of Units)||2000|
|C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection?||Yes|
|C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval?||Yes|
|C8 IRB Number||IRB-AAAR2028|
|C9 Date of IRB Approval||02/21/2017|
|C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party?||Researchers|
|C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research?||not provided by authors|
|C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published?||not provided by authors|
|C13 JEL Classification(s)||not provided by authors|