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Learning about Politics from The Daily Show: The Role of Processing Motivations
Unformatted Document Text:  Learning from The Daily Show 17 Of note, in the regression model for AIME, processing orientation emerged as the strongest predictor (β = .21, p < .001). AIME was, in turn, the most powerful predictor included in the free recall model (β = .16, p < .001). Thus, although an externally imposed viewing motive does not appear to influence how people process and learn from political comedy, the way in which audiences naturally orient to the comedic message upon viewing does have consequences for the amount of effort that is devoted to processing and, indirectly, the amount of information that is ultimately learned. Post-hoc Analyses Because H1a–c were not supported and processing orientation was formed independently of viewing motive, a post-hoc analysis explored whether viewing motive and orientation might interact in their influence on AIME and learning. Of particular interest was whether the informational viewing motive increased AIME only among those who characterized the message purely as entertainment, since those who characterized it as news already devoted a relatively high level of mental effort to processing the message. Consistent with this proposition, an analysis of variance revealed a marginally significant interaction between viewing condition and processing orientation in predicting AIME, F (2, 381) = 2.71, p < .07; η 2 = .014. As can be seen in Figure 1, which plots the estimated means from this analysis, there was no effect of viewing condition on AIME among people who characterized the message as news or as a mix of news and entertainment; however, among those who characterized the message purely as entertainment, subjects in the informational viewing objective condition demonstrated higher AIME than those in the entertainment condition and especially those in the no objective condition. Indeed, a test of the simple effects of viewing condition within the two levels of processing orientation showed that the effect of condition among those who characterized the

Authors: Feldman, Lauren.
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Learning from The Daily Show
17
Of note, in the regression model for AIME, processing orientation emerged as the strongest 
predictor (β = .21, < .001). AIME was, in turn, the most powerful predictor included in the free 
recall model (β = .16, < .001). Thus, although an externally imposed viewing motive does not 
appear to influence how people process and learn from political comedy, the way in which 
audiences naturally orient to the comedic message upon viewing does have consequences for the 
amount of effort that is devoted to processing and, indirectly, the amount of information that is 
ultimately learned. 
Post-hoc Analyses
Because H1a–c were not supported and processing orientation was formed independently 
of viewing motive, a post-hoc analysis explored whether viewing motive and orientation might 
interact in their influence on AIME and learning. Of particular interest was whether the 
informational viewing motive increased AIME only among those who characterized the message 
purely as entertainment, since those who characterized it as news already devoted a relatively 
high level of mental effort to processing the message. Consistent with this proposition, an 
analysis of variance revealed a marginally significant interaction between viewing condition and 
processing orientation in predicting AIME, (2, 381) = 2.71, < .07; η
2
 = .014. As can be seen 
in Figure 1, which plots the estimated means from this analysis, there was no effect of viewing 
condition on AIME among people who characterized the message as news or as a mix of news 
and entertainment; however, among those who characterized the message purely as 
entertainment, subjects in the informational viewing objective condition demonstrated higher 
AIME than those in the entertainment condition and especially those in the no objective 
condition. Indeed, a test of the simple effects of viewing condition within the two levels of 
processing orientation showed that the effect of condition among those who characterized the 


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