Today, the presence of humorous advertisements is a given across almost any medium. This field experiment focused on humor in advertisements and the need for cognition, argumentativeness, and humor orientation personality characteristics. Specifically, applying the elaboration likelihood model to explain how the presence of humor in advertisements and these personality traits combined to influence critical thinking about and information processing of claims presented in advertisements. Data gathered through surveys sent to College of Wooster students showed little significant difference between personality characteristics in responses to humorous ads and non-humorous ads, nor in critical thinking between the ad types. These results suggest further evidence of the distracting nature of humor in advertisements, and provide strong implications of how humor functions as a peripheral cue in the elaboration likelihood model. Additionally, it reinforces the validity of the model in application to engagement with mediated texts.


Boser, Beth


Communication Studies


Cognition and Perception | Mass Communication | Public Relations and Advertising


Humor, Elaboration likelihood model, need for cognition, argumentativeness, humor orientation

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Samuel I. Corman Penzel