Effects of Humor on Presence and Recall of Persuasive Messages

Skalski, Paul; Tamborini, Ron; Glazer, Ed; Smith, Sandi
April 2009
Communication Quarterly;Apr2009, Vol. 57 Issue 2, p136
Academic Journal
This investigation examined how exposure to a humorous persuasive message affects antecedents of presence (i.e., the sensation of being “in” a mediated environment) facilitating message recall. Participants in an experimental study viewed either a humorous or non-humorous version of an alcohol public service announcement and then completed measures of positive emotion, perceived credibility, psychological reactance, presence, and message recall. As predicted, positive emotion was related to an increase in perceived credibility and a decrease in reactance. Increased perceived credibility was associated with greater feelings of presence, negatively affecting recognition memory. These findings suggest that presence may sometimes impede persuasive message recall, although not necessarily to the detriment of attitude change.


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