Audience Responses and the Context of Political Speeches

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Previous studies showed that cultural dimensions (individualism and collectivism) are related to audience behavior in responding to political speeches. However, this study suggests that speech context is an important issue to be considered in understanding speaker-audience interaction in political speeches. Forms of response, audience behavior, and response rates were analyzed in three speech contexts: acceptance speeches to nomination as political parties’ candidates for presidential election, presidential election campaign speeches, and presidential inauguration speeches in the Korean presidential election of 2012. We found that audience response forms and behavior were distinctive according to the three speech contexts: in-group partisan leadership, competitive, and formal contexts. However, there was no relationship between the affiliative response rate and electoral success in the election. The function of the audience response is popularity and support of a speaker in acceptance and election campaign speeches, while it is conformity to social norms in inauguration speeches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-622
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Social and Political Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016, The Authors.


  • political speeches; audience response; cultural differences; speech context; Korea; rhetorical devices

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