Study suggests ‘The Apprentice’ played a ‘key role’ in Trump’s election victory
A recent study suggests that the reality shows ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ played a “key role” in President Trump’s 2016 victory.
Researchers from the University at Buffalo say that over the 14 seasons Trump appeared on the programs, viewers likely formed bonds with him.
According to a university press release, “Those bonds led voters to like Trump; to believe the promises he made, and to discount the negative stories about him which surfaced during the campaign.”
“The bonds also influenced voting behavior: the more people watched Trump on his television programs the more likely they were to form bonds, which then predicted voting for him,” it further notes.
The study is based on parasocial or one-sided relationships and, in this case, pertains to the bonds individuals form with people on television.
“Since the human brain did not evolve to distinguish between real friends who we seek week after week in real life and characters who we see week after week on TV, these bonds can feel very real,” the release explains.
The research behind the team’s conclusions included the participation of 521 voters who answered questions about their “current attitudes about Trump, as well as their voting behavior and their experience watching Trump’s two television shows.”