Dr. Stehouwer Shares How Political Humor Can Influence Public Perception, Support

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She shared that ramifications can be serious.
Dr. Kristin Stehouwer

Dr. Kristin Stehouwer

June 21, 2012

As partisan jibes take aim at presidential candidates in the coming election, the effects of political humor gain attention, so south Florida CBS anchor Ben Becker recently turned to Dr. Kristin Stehouwer, Northwood's Executive Vice President, Chief Academic and Chief Operating Officer for insight.

When asked by Becker if political comedy can sometimes cross the line, Stehouwer shared that there can be a very serious side to political humor and that the ramifications can be dramatic. While sharing that there is often a blurring between humor, comedic performances and actual news, she emphasized that the influence of political humor on voter perception can be powerful. "With a situation when one side feels attacked, viewers may rally even more around their cause and draw more supporters," said Stehouwer.

Dr. Stehouwer earned her doctorate from Northwestern University in Political Science and International Relations. Her graduate studies included International Law at the University of Strasbourg as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar. Her scholarly work has focused on political and economic cooperation. She also earned a B.A. and M.A. from Northwestern University. She has published numerous articles and made many national presentations. She has worked with organizations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa and speaks six languages. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at a number of colleges and universities.