News Delivered With Humour Could Help Young People Digest Political Information

Young woman laughing

Research has found that young adults between the ages of 18-34 years old digested news better when conveyed in a humorous manner, which also meant they were more likely to share the information online. Humour stimulates activity in brain regions “associated with social engagement, improves memory for political facts, and increases the tendency to share political information with others”, says lead author Jason Coronel from Ohio State University.

The newly-found research has come at a crucial time when entertainment-based media has grown to be a main source of political news, according to Jason, suggesting that humour can increase “knowledge about politics”. Using fMRI technology, researchers orchestrated a memory test to determine the amount of information participants retained from watching certain clips. When asked how likely they would be to share the news clips with others, the study found that participants were more likely to remember information about politics and government policy when humour was used. The study found that, compared with non-humorous news clips, viewers more likely to share humorously presented news and are more likely to remember the content.

In light of the recent health emergency, although humour within news might not always be possible it’s certainly a start to changing attitudes surrounding news consumption.

Do you have a positive news story to share? Get in touch.

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.

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