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Modeling the Senses of Humor in the Context of Mass Media Comedy Kimberly A. Neuendorf, Ph.D. School of Communication Cleveland State University Assumptions based on past scholarship and our own past investigations The Senses of Humor Appreciation are multidimensional

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Modeling the senses of humor in the context of mass media comedy l.jpg
Modeling the Senses of Humor in the Context of Mass Media Comedy

  • Kimberly A. Neuendorf, Ph.D.

    School of Communication

    Cleveland State University

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Assumptions based on past scholarship and our own past investigations l.jpg
Assumptions based on past scholarship Comedyand our own past investigations

  • The Senses of Humor Appreciation are multidimensional

  • There are individual differences in SOH profiles

  • These profiles can predict mass media comedy choice and responses to mediated comedy

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Model of humor response and mirth behavior 7 9 07 l.jpg

Critical Variables Currently-Not-Appearing in this Model: Comedy

1. Medium (and, importantly, interactions of medium

with other model components)

2. Demographic characteristics

3. Past experiences with content elements

4. Past experiences with source elements

5. Identification with characters/situations

6. Personality characteristics

7. Higher level interactions

Model of Humor Response and Mirth Behavior (7/9/07)

Perceived levels of

various humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-High Arousal

(e.g., Shock) Humor

-Etc.

Information

Acquisition

Humor Response

(Affective

response; i.e.,

finding a stimulus

funny)

Mirth Behavior

(i.e., laughter, smiling)

Perceived levels of

stimulus presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Contextual Cues (e.g.,

co-laughers, laugh track,

expectations of others,

privacy)

Individual Differences

(e.g., proclivity to

laugh/traditional

“sense of humor”

scales, perceived

social presence)

Preference for

stimulus

presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Preference for various

humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-Shock Humor

-Etc.

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


A study testing many of the model s components laugh track 07 l.jpg
A study testing many of the model’s components: Laugh Track ‘07

  • Experimental design:

    • 4 episodes of Andy Griffith

    • Each in Laugh Track/No Laugh Track versions (8 conditions total)—serendipitous acquisition

    • Subjects = 114 students at CSU, in groups of 2-5

    • Pre-experiment questionnaire tapped numerous SOH dimensions and other model elements

    • Posttest tapped responses to the episode overall and specific incidents within the episode

    • Subjects were videorecorded as they watched the episode—behavioral response coding to follow

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


A study testing many of the model s components laugh track 075 l.jpg
A study testing many of the model’s components: Laugh Track ‘07

  • Thanks to the CSU team

  • Some preliminary findings:

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Model of humor response and mirth behavior 7 9 076 l.jpg

Critical Variables Currently-Not-Appearing in this Model: Track ‘07

1. Medium (and, importantly, interactions of medium

with other model components)

2. Demographic characteristics

3. Past experiences with content elements

4. Past experiences with source elements

5. Identification with characters/situations

6. Personality characteristics

7. Higher level interactions

Model of Humor Response and Mirth Behavior (7/9/07)

Perceived levels of

various humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-High Arousal

(e.g., Shock) Humor

-Etc.

Information

Acquisition

Humor Response

(Affective

response; i.e.,

finding a stimulus

funny)

Mirth Behavior

(i.e., laughter, smiling)

Perceived levels of

stimulus presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Contextual Cues (e.g.,

co-laughers, laugh track,

expectations of others,

privacy)

Individual Differences

(e.g., proclivity to

laugh/traditional

“sense of humor”

scales, perceived

social presence)

Preference for

stimulus

presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Preference for various

humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-Shock Humor

-Etc.

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Evidence from lt 07 l.jpg
Evidence from LT ‘07 Track ‘07

Perceived type of humor in six key incidents is NOT homogenous—perceived levels of different humor types matter

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Evidence from lt 078 l.jpg
Evidence from LT ‘07 Track ‘07

  • Mixed evidence of interactions between humor preferences and humor “found” on ratings of the episodes:

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Slide9 l.jpg

LT ’07: Sample Interaction—Overall perceived funniness (0-10) of episode as an Interaction of Perceived slapstick and Preference for slapstick

Interaction is ns

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Slide10 l.jpg
LT ’07: Sample Interaction—Overall episode enjoyment (0-10) as an Interaction of Perceived slapstick and Preference for slapstick

Interaction is ns

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Model of humor response and mirth behavior 7 9 0711 l.jpg

Critical Variables Currently-Not-Appearing in this Model: (0-10) as an Interaction of Perceived slapstick and Preference for slapstick

1. Medium (and, importantly, interactions of medium

with other model components)

2. Demographic characteristics

3. Past experiences with content elements

4. Past experiences with source elements

5. Identification with characters/situations

6. Personality characteristics

7. Higher level interactions

Model of Humor Response and Mirth Behavior (7/9/07)

Perceived levels of

various humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-High Arousal

(e.g., Shock) Humor

-Etc.

Information

Acquisition

Humor Response

(Affective

response; i.e.,

finding a stimulus

funny)

Mirth Behavior

(i.e., laughter, smiling)

Perceived levels of

stimulus presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Contextual Cues (e.g.,

co-laughers, laugh track,

expectations of others,

privacy)

Individual Differences

(e.g., proclivity to

laugh/traditional

“sense of humor”

scales, perceived

social presence)

Preference for

stimulus

presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Preference for various

humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-Shock Humor

-Etc.

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Evidence from lt 0712 l.jpg
Evidence from LT ‘07 (0-10) as an Interaction of Perceived slapstick and Preference for slapstick

  • Good variance on measures indicates strong individual differences on preferences for these presentation characteristics, and perceptions of their presence in the episodes

  • Interactions not yet analyzed

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Model of humor response and mirth behavior 7 9 0713 l.jpg

Critical Variables Currently-Not-Appearing in this Model: (0-10) as an Interaction of Perceived slapstick and Preference for slapstick

1. Medium (and, importantly, interactions of medium

with other model components)

2. Demographic characteristics

3. Past experiences with content elements

4. Past experiences with source elements

5. Identification with characters/situations

6. Personality characteristics

7. Higher level interactions

Model of Humor Response and Mirth Behavior (7/9/07)

Perceived levels of

various humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-High Arousal

(e.g., Shock) Humor

-Etc.

Information

Acquisition

Humor Response

(Affective

response; i.e.,

finding a stimulus

funny)

Mirth Behavior

(i.e., laughter, smiling)

Perceived levels of

stimulus presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Contextual Cues (e.g.,

co-laughers, laugh track,

expectations of others,

privacy)

Individual Differences

(e.g., proclivity to

laugh/traditional

“sense of humor”

scales, perceived

social presence)

Preference for

stimulus

presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Preference for various

humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-Shock Humor

-Etc.

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Evidence from lt 0714 l.jpg
Evidence from LT ‘07 (0-10) as an Interaction of Perceived slapstick and Preference for slapstick

  • Presence of laugh track? Subjects were differentially able to gauge:

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Lt 07 identification of presence of laugh track l.jpg
LT ’07: Identification of Presence of Laugh Track (0-10) as an Interaction of Perceived slapstick and Preference for slapstick

Chi-square for correct identification = 9.3, p=.01

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Lt 07 preference for laugh tracks as related to condition and identification of lt l.jpg
LT ’07: Preference for Laugh Tracks as related to Condition and Identification of LT

Main Effects:

Condition ns

ID of LT p=.068

Interaction: ns

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Evidence from lt 0717 l.jpg
Evidence from LT ‘07 Condition and Identification of LT

  • Significant differences in humor response to the 8 conditions:

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Lt 07 total perceived funniness scores by condition l.jpg
LT ’07: Total perceived funniness scores by condition Condition and Identification of LT

Main effect for laugh track: ns

Main effect for episode: F(3,106)=5.32, p=.002

Interaction effect: F(3,106)=3.06, p=.031

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Evidence from lt 0719 l.jpg
Evidence from LT ‘07 Condition and Identification of LT

  • Differences in perceived presence across the 8 conditions:

    • Sig. differences for Social Presence/Active Interpersonal (see next graph); similar patterns for Engagement Presence and for Time Presence

    • No sig. differences for Social Presence/Parasocial, Social Presence/Passive Interpersonal, and Spatial Presence

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Lt 07 social presence active interpersonal by condition l.jpg
LT ’07: Social Presence/Active Interpersonal by Condition Condition and Identification of LT

Main effect for laugh track: ns

Main effect for episode: ns

Interaction effect: F(3,106)=4.49, p=.005

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Model of humor response and mirth behavior 7 9 0721 l.jpg

Critical Variables Currently-Not-Appearing in this Model: Condition and Identification of LT

1. Medium (and, importantly, interactions of medium

with other model components)

2. Demographic characteristics

3. Past experiences with content elements

4. Past experiences with source elements

5. Identification with characters/situations

6. Personality characteristics

7. Higher level interactions

Model of Humor Response and Mirth Behavior (7/9/07)

Perceived levels of

various humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-High Arousal

(e.g., Shock) Humor

-Etc.

Information

Acquisition

Humor Response

(Affective

response; i.e.,

finding a stimulus

funny)

Mirth Behavior

(i.e., laughter, smiling)

Perceived levels of

stimulus presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Contextual Cues (e.g.,

co-laughers, laugh track,

expectations of others,

privacy)

Individual Differences

(e.g., proclivity to

laugh/traditional

“sense of humor”

scales, perceived

social presence)

Preference for

stimulus

presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Preference for various

humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-Shock Humor

-Etc.

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Evidence from lt 0722 l.jpg
Evidence from LT ‘07 Condition and Identification of LT

  • None yet!

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


The utility of modeling l.jpg
The utility of modeling Condition and Identification of LT

  • Organizing past evidence

  • Roadmap for future investigations

  • Reference for data analysis plan

  • Alternative models may be compared

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Model of humor response and mirth behavior 7 9 0724 l.jpg

Critical Variables Currently-Not-Appearing in this Model: Condition and Identification of LT

1. Medium (and, importantly, interactions of medium

with other model components)

2. Demographic characteristics

3. Past experiences with content elements

4. Past experiences with source elements

5. Identification with characters/situations

6. Personality characteristics

7. Higher level interactions

Model of Humor Response and Mirth Behavior (7/9/07)

Perceived levels of

various humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-High Arousal

(e.g., Shock) Humor

-Etc.

Information

Acquisition

Humor Response

(Affective

response; i.e.,

finding a stimulus

funny)

Mirth Behavior

(i.e., laughter, smiling)

Perceived levels of

stimulus presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Contextual Cues (e.g.,

co-laughers, laugh track,

expectations of others,

privacy)

Individual Differences

(e.g., proclivity to

laugh/traditional

“sense of humor”

scales, perceived

social presence)

Preference for

stimulus

presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Surprise

-Etc.

Preference for various

humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-Shock Humor

-Etc.

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Notes re humor model l.jpg
Notes re Humor Model Condition and Identification of LT

  • A number of important variable sets are not included (see text box above model).

  • Variables are lumped together into sets (A, B, C, D, F, G) for convenience only; a real test would have each variable measured and statistically tested separately.

  • A presumed causal link is represented by an arrow that leads from one box to another.

  • An interaction is represented by an arrow that hits another arrow in the middle. For example, the variable set D is shown as having an interaction with set B in the prediction of E.

  • Important higher-level interactions have not been specified. For example, “reality” perceptions and needs might be different for different types of humor—a three-way interaction between particular components in B and D and A. Four-way and higher interactions are clearly possible.

  • The nature of each of the various interactions (both specified and not yet specified) is unknown. The following two pages contain simplified examples of possible interactions (simplified=reduced to just low and high).

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


Model of humor response and mirth behavior l.jpg
Model of Humor Response and Mirth Behavior Condition and Identification of LT

Critical Variables Currently-Not-Appearing in this Model:

1. Medium (and, importantly, interactions of medium

with other model components)

2. Demographic characteristics

3. Past experiences with content elements

4. Past experiences with source elements

5. Higher level interactions

Perceived levels of

various humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-High Arousal

(e.g., Shock) Humor

-Etc.

  • Presentations to follow will examine the role of some of these critical variables:

  • Medium-specific characteristics (e.g., Evan Lieberman’s analysis of early film conventions and their comedic violations)

  • Past experiences with content forms (e.g., Jack Powers’ tracing of the changing emphases in television comedy)

  • Interactions of medium with humor preferences and expectations (e.g., Paul Skalski’s look at the evolution of humor in video gaming)

Humor Response

(Affective

response; i.e.,

finding a stimulus

funny)

Mirth Behavior

(i.e., laughter, smiling)

Perceived levels of

stimulus presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Etc.

Contextual Cues (e.g.,

co-laughers, laugh track,

expectations of others,

privacy)

Individual Differences

(e.g., proclivity to

laugh/traditional

“sense of humor”

scales, perceived

social presence)

Preference for

stimulus

presentation

characteristics:

-Reality

-Intentionality

-Rarity (“Odds”)

-Dry delivery

-Etc.

Preference for various

humor types:

-Incongruity

-Disparagement

-Social Humor

-Shock Humor

-Etc.

Neuendorf, ISHS '07


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