Article Correctness Is Author's Responsibility: Is social television the “anti-laugh track?” testing the effect of negative comments and canned laughter on comedy reception.

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Broadcasters often use multiple methods to promote positive responses to TV programing. Some programs feature the sound of audience laughter, whereas others display social media comments that praise programing. What happens, however, when viewers' comments on social media are negative? Can the presence of laugh tracks buffer hostile comments' negative effects? An experiment (N = 184) was conducted to answer these questions using a 3 (comment valence: positive vs. negative vs. control) × 2 (laugh track: present vs. absent) between-subjects design. Negative comments decreased program perceptions via the mediating pathway of bandwagon support. The presence of a laugh track did not moderate effects. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings for new media effects are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)