Our focus publication for this month (randomly selected) by an IALSP member is: Bull, P.& Miskinis, K. (2015) Whipping it up! An analysis of audience responses to political rhetoric in speeches from the 2012 American presidential elections. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 34.
ABSTRACT: In the context of Hofstede’s distinction between collectivist and individualist societies, an analysis was conducted of rhetorical devices utilized to invite affiliative audience responses in 11 speeches delivered by the two principal candidates in the 2012 American presidential election (Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney). Results were compared with preexisting data on Japanese and British political speeches. Whereas Anglo American politicians principally utilized implicit rhetorical devices, the Japanese principally utilized explicit devices. Whereas individualized audience responses (isolated applause and individual remarks) occurred throughout the American speeches, Japanese audiences invariably responded together. Collective audience responses also occurred in the American speeches, but showed a greater diversity than those for the British or Japanese, with chanting and booing, as well as cheering, applause, and laughter. In the American speeches, a significant positive correlation was found between affiliative response rate and electoral success; this is the first study to demonstrate such a significant relationship.