How Does Political Satire Influence Political Participation? Examining the Role of Counter- and Pro-Attitudinal Exposure, Anger, and Personal Issue Importance

Hsuan-Ting Chen, Chen Gan, Ping Sun


Research has shown that exposure to political satire elicits negative emotions, which in turn mobilize political participation. We conducted an experiment to extend this line of research by examining the type of exposure (i.e., exposure to counter- and proattitudinal political views) and investigating a specific negative emotion—anger—in influencing political participation. Although the literature has suggested that counterattitudinal exposure is likely to discourage political behaviors, results from this study document that exposure to counterattitudinal political satire is more likely than proattitudinal exposure to increase participation in issue-related activities through evoking one’s anger about the political issue. More importantly, this indirect effect functions under the condition when people consider the issue to be personally important. We discuss the implications for the development of deliberative and participatory democracy in media genres that are emotionally provocative.


political satire, political participation, cross-cutting exposure, anger, personal issue importance

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