3 the main objective of this study is to contribute

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(3) The main objective of this study is to contribute to this literature on humor and political attitudes by examining the extent to which delivering news stories about public policies in a humorous fashion can increase or decrease support for those policies. (4) This topic is timely and important given that young adults are turning away from traditional news outlets and moving towards political late-night comedies as sources of news information (Pew Research, 2004). According to Pew (2004), 21 percent of people aged 18 to 29 cited "The Daily Show" and "Saturday Night Live" as a place where they regularly learned presidential campaign news. Public opinion is an important driver of policies in the United States (Mackuen & Stimson, 2002). Therefore, we need to know how this trend will affect the way the young adults form opinions and attitudes about public policies. Furthermore, this study will expand our understanding of the effects of humor on attitudes in one of the
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most important domains in which humor can have a large societal impact— politics. (5) My central hypothesis is that news stories (about proposed public policies) delivered in a humorous manner will increase support for those policies. (6) This hypothesis is based on the theory that individuals will use attentional resources to comprehend the joke and scrutinize the merits of a public policy. Due to humor’s complexity, more mental resources are used for joke comprehension and as a result, fewer resources are left for challenging the premise of the policy’s arguments. Thus, news stories associated with humor should elicit higher levels support for public policies compared to news stories not associated with humor. (7) I will use an experimental design that attempts to isolate the causal effects of humor on political attitudes about public policies. I will randomly
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