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Using Credible Advice to Overcome Framing Effects

  • Druckman, James N
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    A framing effect occurs when different, but logically equivalent, words or phrases (e.g., 10% employment of 90% unemployment) cause individuals to alter their decisions. Demonstrations of framing effects challenge a fundamental tenet of rational choice theory and suggest that public opinion is so malleable that it cannot serve as a useful guide to policymakers. In this article I argue that most previous work overstates the ubiquity of framing effects because it forces experimental participants to make decisions in isolation from social contact and context. I present two experiments where I show that some widely known framing effects greatly diminish and sometimes disappear when participants are given access to credible advice about how to decide. I discuss the implications of my findings for rational choice theory, and public opinion and public policy. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

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    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 1 (April)
    Pages: 62-82

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:17:y:2001:i:1:p:62-82
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