Toward a Psychology of Framing Effects

Toward a Psychology of Framing Effects Framing is the process by which a communication source constructs and defines a social or political issue for its audience. While many observers of political communication and the mass media have discussed framing, few have explicitly described how framing affects public opinion. In this paper we offer a theory of framing effects, with a specific focus on the psychological mechanisms by which framing influences political attitudes. We discuss important conceptual differences between framing and traditional theories of persuasion that focus on belief change. We outline a set of hypotheses about the interaction between framing and audience sophistication, and test these in an experiment. The results support our argument that framing is not merely persuasion, as it is traditionally conceived. We close by reflecting on the various routes by which political communications can influence attitudes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Toward a Psychology of Framing Effects

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1997 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1024834831093
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Framing is the process by which a communication source constructs and defines a social or political issue for its audience. While many observers of political communication and the mass media have discussed framing, few have explicitly described how framing affects public opinion. In this paper we offer a theory of framing effects, with a specific focus on the psychological mechanisms by which framing influences political attitudes. We discuss important conceptual differences between framing and traditional theories of persuasion that focus on belief change. We outline a set of hypotheses about the interaction between framing and audience sophistication, and test these in an experiment. The results support our argument that framing is not merely persuasion, as it is traditionally conceived. We close by reflecting on the various routes by which political communications can influence attitudes.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 14, 2004

References

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