Humor in Advertizing

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ON HUMOR AND HUMOR IN ADVERTISING by PAUL SURGI SPECK, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. A DISSERTATION IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of Texas Tech University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

Approved

Accepted

December, 1987

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MESSAGE PROCESSING

-> MESSAGE EFFECTS

Fig.

1.1.

The research model frequently used in current humor appeals research.

By contrast, this dissertation suggests that research into humor's communication effects requires a fuller and more complex conceptual model (see figure 1.2). This expanded model implies (1) that humor is multidimensional, (2) that humor is a family of related

The Semiotic Relationship Between Humor and Message

HUMOR 1, HUMOR 2 AND HUMOR 3 A (Multiple Processes and Multiple Effects) ^

A

THE MESSAGE-

Central Route or Peripheral Processing

MESSAGE -^ EFFECTS

Fig.

1.2.

The proposed research model for humor appeals research.

8 phenomena which involve somewhat different processes that produce somewhat similar effects, (3) that the effect of humor largely depends on the type of message processing employed, and (4) that the specific relationship of humor elements to message elements determines the potential influence of one on the other. The current research model requires conceptual modification in several areas. Chapters 2 to 4 address these conceptual issues.

Chapter 2 presents evidence concerning the multidimensionality of humor. Chapter 3 discusses message structure, message processing and Then, using the

their implications regarding the effect of humor.

theoretical foundation laid out in chapters 2 and 3, chapter 4 develops a taxonomy of humorous message types. Chapters 5 to 8 test the descriptive and experimental value of the proposed model. Chapter 5 reviews several bodies of literature Chapter 6 describes an

concerned with humor's communication effects.

experiment

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