A case for funny?

Posted: August 21, 2008 in Learning..., Theory
Tags: , ,

From Think Progress in “Colbert, Stewart viewers more well-informed than those watching O’Reilly,  Dobbs“:

 A new Pew Survey on News Consumption released yesterday reveals that viewers of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are more knowledgeable about current events than those who watch Bill O’Reilly, Lou Dobbs, Larry King, and the “average consumers of NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNN, C-SPAN and daily newspapers.” Thirty percent of Daily Show and 34 percent of Colbert viewers correctly identified Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives, compared to the national average of just 18 percent.

What I’m seeing here is that the people who enjoy (heavy emphasis on the enjoy)  watching Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert actually retain more information than those who watch Bill O’Reilly, or just any random news show. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are (mostly) humorous and definitely engaging entertainment. We already know that stimulating emotion helps people remember, and that positive emotions are most closely tied with retention. So is the fact that The Daily Show and The Colbert Report viewers retain more information surprising to anyone? 

So let’s look at the application: How do you take advantage of this in your classroom?

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