A leader or a comedian? Perceptions of politicians based on their use of humor on Twitter


Otro(a)s Autore(a)s: Andrés Mendiburo-Seguel, Hannah Buie, Stéphanie Alenda y Patricio Navia.

Año: 2023

Revista: International Journal of Humor

Mendiburo-Seguel, Andrés, Buie, Hannah, Alenda, Stéphanie and Navia, Patricio. "A leader or a comedian? Perceptions of politicians based on their use of humor on Twitter" HUMOR, vol. 36, no. 1, 2023, pp. 25-49.

Politicians are tasked with both holding expertise and being relatable to the general population they are representing. Accordingly, politicians strategize their communication style to achieve both aims. One strategy they implement is using humor in their communication to constituents. But is this an effective strategy across humor styles? Does political affiliation or gender of the politician impact these effects? We examine these questions in an online experiment with Chilean subjects (N = 799) using tweets from fictitious politicians, finding evidence that both serious and humorous aggressive communication had negative outcomes on social perception of the politician compared to affiliative and self-deprecating communication. Both serious and humorous affiliative communication has a positive outcome on social perceptions compared to aggressive and most self-deprecating communications. Also, self-deprecating humor was a moderately effective communication strategy, and political affiliation did not have an effect on perceptions of likability when affiliative humor was used. Finally, we did not find evidence of differences in social perceptions based on the gender of the politician.

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