How You Frame It

Can the way in which you speak effect they way a person is going to respond? Can you shape peoples points of view depending on the way you phrase a sentence or a question? Let go back to a classic question; which will drop the quickest, a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers? Automatically, peoples first response will be a pound of bricks because they know that the concept of bricks is naturally heavier than feathers, a lot of people mistake that they both weigh a pound in this scenario. But the choices are presented in a certain way that can influence decisions.

This is called framing. how we phrase a question can influence the way people make their decisions. The original study done on this subject was by Kahneman and Tversky in 1981. They took a group of people and game them two choice to pick from. One set of choices was based on the framing of acts, another set was based on the framing of contingencies, and the last set was based on the framing of outcomes.

Kahneman and Tversky (1981)  found that “The psychological principles that govern the perception of decision problems and the evaluation of probabilities and outcomes produce predictable shifts of preference when the same problem is framed in different ways”

This framing effect influences the way that people make decisions. This is a big idea when it comes to economics. People make decisions based on emotions when information on something is incomplete, so the way that people advertise is changing. The basis of economics used to be that people made rational decisions but studies show that more people make decisions based on how they feel and they way choice is presented.

With framing,people don’t like to take chances, so if the the questions are about money or disease, people choose the less risky option. The way we think is influenced by the way the choices are presented to us.


1 thought on “How You Frame It

  1. ellietruffa

    I really like this post because it discusses how framing is so important in life. Whether its talking to your best friend or the phrases shouted out to you by commercials, framing affects the way you perceive and determine a conclusion in regards to something or someone. Framing can be a useful strategy in communication to get what you want (or hopefully what is best for everyone). Marketing, for example, uses framing in everything. From jaguars to bottles of coke, commercials and the products they advertise are framed in a way (or spoken about, advertised) in a way that your viewpoint, enticing you to buy that particular product. As this post says, framing can affect decision making. But it can also affect memory recall. Framing, really, is one of the most important aspects of human communication (in my opinion).

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