Susan Douglas on Radio Quiz Shows

Listeners preferred the contestants to be “average people,” and when they rooted for someone in particular, they chose the contestant who, they said, “is most like myself.” Herzog shrewdly noted that “a listener chooses the person ‘like myself’ apparently not to increase his own chances of winning but, through identification with the average man, to participate in the college man’s defeat.” In an age where advertising, movies, and magazine articles insisted that first impressions matter, and that being a good, quick judge of people is essential to success, quiz show listeners delighted in choosing the potential winner after hearing the contestants answer just a question or two. If they chose correctly, their self-esteem swelled, and their authority was enhanced among friends and family members.

Susan Douglas, Listening In p.146

Sounds like video games to me.

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