Title

Laughing to keep from crying: Humor and aggression in television commercial content

Publication Date

2006

Journal or Book Title

Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media

Abstract

This study found that a week of prime-time programming on the broadcast networks yielded 4,347 commercial messages (either for products/services or movie trailers/television program promotions), of which 536 (12.3%) contained some form of aggression (physical, verbal, or "fortuitous"). Those 536 messages then formed the sample used in this content analysis. Among the key findings, it was found that just over half of the commercials combined aggression with humor. Humor was more common when the aggression was fortuitous. Psychoanalytic humor was the most frequently employed humor technique, followed by incongruity and then superiority.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1207/s15506878jobem5004_3

Volume

50

Pages

615-634

Issue

4

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