Squid or Chalkie? The Role of Self-identity and Selective Perception in Processing Tendentious “Hillbilly” Humor

Nicholas Bowman, Jennifer S Hallett, Andy Boyan, Jeremy Groskopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The current study used selective perception as a conceptual framework to examine how one’s socio-cultural identification (“Hillbilly” or “Yuppie”) guides interpretations and enjoyment of tendentious comedy. Two episodes of Squidbillies were screened- selected based on existing narrative analysis (Bowman & Groskopf, 2010) coupled with show writer interviews suggesting the target episodes to offer targeted-yet-humorous critiques on the “banality and absurdity of the [Yuppie] status quo.” A theoretically causal model connecting viewer identification, character identification, character liking, perceived humorous intent, and enjoyment demonstrate that as one’s “Yuppie” identification increases, enjoyment suffers due to the fact that they perceive the humor as more tendentious towards their own peer group. Results suggest that audiences might not be as open to humorous self-critique as assumed by past research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-28
JournalDefault journal
StatePublished - Feb 2017


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