The science of #scicomm: On emotion and humor.

Paper accepted for presentation at the Science Talk ’20, Portland, OR.

Abstract: Emotional appeals are encouraged when engaging with public audiences. Yet, we lack evidence of the effectiveness of using such appeals in science communication. Here we present current research on emotion and humor in online science communication. This presentation will provide an overall summary of current research in the science of science communication, knowledge about how to use humor when communicating science, and a better understanding of the effect of emotion and humor on public attitudes toward science.

Michael Cacciatore 

Related Research


The effect of science comedy on perceptions of scientists and scientific messages.

Abstract: Humor is an important conduit for public engagement with science that is often recommended for scientists looking to conduct communication activities despite relatively little empirical evidence demonstrating its effectiveness. Here, we examine the social environment of a joke through a two-condition experimental design that manipulates the presence or absence of audience laughter. Specifically, we […]

Michael Cacciatore
read more
Laughing with science: The influence of audience approval on engagement.

Abstract: While there is mounting evidence that humor can be an effective means of engaging publics, much remains to be learned about the contextual factors that shape how audiences receive and process humorous scientific content. Analyzing data from a controlled experiment, this study explores the differential impact of exposure to stand-up comedy featuring a scientist […]

Michael Cacciatore
read more