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He thinks that there may be problems with the ‘pen-in-mouth’ method used to explore the effect.
But an author of the original report — published nearly three decades ago — says that the new analysis has shortcomings, and may not represent a direct replication of his work.
In 1988, Fritz Strack, a psychologist now at the University of Würzburg, Germany, and colleagues found that people who held a pen between their teeth, which induces a smile, rated cartoons as funnier than did those who held a pen between their lips, which induced a pout, or frown.
Overall, the experiments found no difference in the way people with pen-induced smiles or frowns rated the cartoons.
And 16 of the experiments tested enough people for there to be statistical confidence that even if the studies had been repeated many more times, the researchers would have found the same null result, says Eric-Jan Wagenmakers, a psychologist at the University of Amsterdam who led the analysis. , which was published along with the replication study, in which he argued that the studies may have been affected by two potential shortcomings.
Last year, hundreds of psychologists reported attempts to replicate the findings of 98 papers, and said that they could validate fewer than half of them.
Like some other replication efforts, Wagenmakers’ project had its protocol vetted — and published details of that protocol — before the independent validation studies began.
In recent years, the cartoons genre has gained considerable research interest across disciplines; for example, communication, media studies and health sciences.
More so, cartoons serve as potent source of data used to study social phenomena.
This paper aims at illustrating how political cartoons are used as a vehicle of setting social agenda in Nigerian newspapers to reorient and shape the public opinion through recurrent depictions mirroring current socio-political issues at a given period.
The cartoons texts were excerpted from two major Nigerian newspapers, Daily Trust and Vanguard during the period 2007-2010.