Political candidates in infotainment programmes and their emotional effects on Twitter

Referencia bibliográfica

Baviera,T.; Peris, À. y Cano-Orón, L. (2017). Political candidates in infotainment programmes and their emotional effects on Twitter: an analysis of the 2015 Spanish general elections pre-campaign season. Contemporary Social Science, doi


The infotainment format offers candidates an informal setting to show a more personal side of themselves to the electorate, opening themselves up to potential voters. An example of media hybridisation, social networks users can immediately comment on infotainment television programmes, a process known as second screening. These second screeners tend to be especially active in politics. This paper analyses the immediate emotional reaction of these users as they watch infotainment programmes that air during the campaign or pre-campaign seasons and feature political candidates as guests. We have confirmed that second screeners react more emotionally towards the candidate when his or her party is mentioned, and less emotionally when the host displays an aggressive attitude through his or her non-verbal communication. When issues related to the candidate’s personal lives are discussed, users’ emotional reactions improve slightly. The relevance of this research stems from the fact that we are witnessing the consolidation of a politics that increasingly strays from ideological questions, and instead focuses on more emotional and personal issues.

Palabras clave

Emotional public sphere, political infotainment, Twitter, sentiment analysis, second screening, personalisation of politics, 2015 Spanish general election.