The present study examined whether peer comments on video-sharing platforms can influence the emotional reactions toward entertaining videos. This question is especially relevant with regard to meaningful videos known to increase prosocial motivation and reduce stereotypes. In a 3x3x2 between-subjects online experiment (N = 732), we varied the type of video (unity of humankind, portrayals of human kindness, funny videos) and valence (positive, neutral, negative) as well as internationality (English vs international) of peer reactions. Results demonstrate that peer comments indeed alter the emotional effects of the video clip, with negative comments leading to a reduced sense of elevation. The extent to which viewers socially identified with commenters explained this pattern and intensified associated effects such as an increased universal orientation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology