Funny Politics: Examining the Motivations for Political Satire Consumption and Avoidance, and the Effects of Political Satire Television Consumption on Political Knowledge, Engagement, and Trust in Institiutions

Alexandra Rae Martinez, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Political satire television is continuing to develop into an integral part of political rhetoric and evaluation to its viewers. This thesis explores the effects that consumption of political satire television might have on its consumers. Specifically, this study uses quantitative methods to examine the effects political satire has on political knowledge, political engagement, and trust in democratic institutions. Further, this study provides insight into the motivations for viewing or avoiding political satire TV. This research uses a survey compiled of scales employed by previous research, slightly altered to reflect the changes in today’s political climate and satire TV shows and hosts. The results of the survey were examined using bivariate correlations and linear regressions to uncover potential relationships and effects. Results revealed that, as political satire consumption generally has a positive effect on political knowledge and engagement, when controlled for certain variables, only political knowledge maintained a positive relationship with political satire consumption. Implications of these results insinuate that people who choose to consume political satire television are more politically knowledgeable than those who do not, and that entertainment is the foremost motivation for consumption.

Subject Area

Communication|Political science|Mass communications|Rhetoric

Recommended Citation

Martinez, Alexandra Rae, "Funny Politics: Examining the Motivations for Political Satire Consumption and Avoidance, and the Effects of Political Satire Television Consumption on Political Knowledge, Engagement, and Trust in Institiutions" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI22615384.
https://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI22615384

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