Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Political Preference Formation: Competition, Deliberation, and the (Ir)relevance of Framing Effects

  • JAMES N. DRUCKMAN (a1)

Abstract

One of the most contested questions in the social sciences is whether people behave rationally. A large body of work assumes that individuals do in fact make rational economic, political, and social decisions. Yet hundreds of experiments suggest that this is not the case. Framing effects constitute one of the most stunning and influential demonstrations of irrationality. The effects not only challenge the foundational assumptions of much of the social sciences (e.g., the existence of coherent preferences or stable attitudes), but also lead many scholars to adopt alternative approaches (e.g., prospect theory). Surprisingly, virtually no work has sought to specify the political conditions under which framing effects occur. I fill this gap by offering a theory and experimental test. I show how contextual forces (e.g., elite competition, deliberation) and individual attributes (e.g., expertise) affect the success of framing. The results provide insight into when rationality assumptions apply and, also, have broad implications for political psychology and experimental methods.

Copyright

Corresponding author

James N. Druckman is Lippincott Associate Professor and a McKnight Presidential Fellow, Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota, 1414 Social Sciences, 267 19th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55455-0410 (druckman@polisci.umn.edu).

References

Hide All
Bartels Larry M.. 2003. “Democracy with Attitudes.” In Electoral Democracy, ed. Michael Bruce MacKuen and George Rabinowitz. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Bizer George Y., Jon A. Krosnick, Richard E. Petty, Derek D. Rucker, and S. Christian Wheller. 2000. “Need for Cognition and Need to Evaluate in the 1998 National Election Survey Pilot Study.” National Election Studies Report.
Bless Herbert, Tilmann Betsch, and Axel Franzen. 1998. “Framing the Framing Effect.” European Journal of Social Psychology 28 (March/April): 28791.
Boettcher William A. III 1995. “Context, Methods, Numbers, and Words.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 39 (September): 56183.
Cacioppo John T., and Richard E. Petty. 1982. “The Need for Cognition.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 42 (January): 11631.
Camerer Colin. 2003. Behavioral Game Theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Caporaso James A. 1995. “Research Design, Falsification, and the Qualitative–Quantitative Divide.” American Political Science Review 89 (June): 45760.
Chong Dennis. 1996. “Creating Common Frames of Reference on Political Issues.” In Political Persuasion and Attitude Change, ed. Diana C. Mutz, Paul M. Sniderman, and Richard A. Brody. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Cook Thomas D., and Donald T. Campbell. 1979. Quasi-Experimentation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Cox Gary. 1999. “The Empirical Content of Rational Choice Theory.” Journal of Theoretical Politics 11 (April): 14769.
Druckman James N. 2001a. “Evaluating Framing Effects.” Journal of Economic Psychology 22 (February): 91101.
Druckman James N. 2001b. “The Implications of Framing Effects for Citizen Competence.” Political Behavior 23 (March): 22556.
Druckman James N. 2001c. “Using Credible Advice to Overcome Framing Effects.” Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization 17 (April): 6282.
Druckman James N., and Arthur Lupia. 2000. “Preference Formation.” Annual Review of Political Science 3 (June): 124.
Druckman James N., and Arthur Lupia. N.d. “Mind, Will, and Choice.” In Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis, ed. Robert E. Goodin and Charles Tilly. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming.
Druckman James N., and Kjersten R. Nelson. 2003. “Framing and Deliberation.” American Journal of Political Science 47 (October): 72844.
Entman Robert M. 1993. “Framing.” Journal of Communication 43 (Autumn): 5158.
Fagley N. S., and Paul M. Miller. 1997. “Framing Effects and Arenas of Choice.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 71 (September): 35573.
Fazio Russell H. 1995. “Attitudes as Object-Evaluation Associations.” In Attitude Strength, ed. Richard E. Petty and Jon A. Krosnick. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Fazio Russell H., and Michael A. Olson. 2003. “Implicit Measures in Social Cognition Research.” Annual Review of Psychology 54 (February): 297327.
Frisch Deborah. 1993. “Reasons for Framing Effects.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 54 (September): 399429.
Higgins E. Tory, and Gillian King. 1981. “Social Constructs.” In Personality, Cognition, and Social Interaction, ed. Nancy Cantor and John F. Kihlstrom. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Huckfeldt Robert, and John Sprague. 1987. “Networks in Context.” American Political Science Review 81 (December): 11971216.
Jou Jerwen, James Shanteau, and Richard Jackson Harris. 1996. “An Information Processing View of Framing Effects.” Memory & Cognition 24 (January): 115.
Kahneman Daniel. 2000. “Preface.” In Choice, Values, and Frames, ed. Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kahneman Daniel, Ilana Ritov, and David Schkade. 1999. “Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 19 (December): 20335.
Kahneman Daniel, and Amos Tversky eds. 2000. Choice, Values, and Frames. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kinder Donald R. 1998. “Communication and Opinion.” Annual Review of Political Science 1 (June): 16797.
King Gary, Christopher J. L. Murray, Joshua A. Salomon, and Ajay Tandon. 2004. “Enhancing the Validity and Cross-Cultural Comparability of Measurement in Survey Research.” American Political Science Review 98 (February): 191207.
Kühberger Anton. 1998. “The Influence of Framing on Risky Decisions.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 75 (July): 2355.
Kühberger Anton, Michael Schulte-Mecklenbeck, and Josef Perner. 1999. “The Effects of Framing, Reflection, Probability, and Payoff on Risk Preference in Choice Tasks.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 78 (June): 20431.
Kuklinski James H. 2002. “Introduction.” In Thinking about Political Psychology, ed. James H. Kuklinski. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kuklinski James H., and Jennifer Jerit. 2001. “Commentary.” In Citizens and Politics: Perspectives from Political Psychology, ed. James H. Kuklinski. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Kuklinski James H., Paul J. Quirk, Jennifer Jerit, and Robert F. Rich. 2001. “The Political Environment and Citizen Competence.” American Journal of Political Science 45 (April): 41024.
Kuklinski James H., Paul J. Quirk, Jennifer Jerit, David Schwieder, and Robert F. Rich. 2000. “Misinformation and the Currency of Democratic Citizenship.” Journal of Politics 62 (August): 790816.
Larrick Richard P., Richard E. Nisbett, and James N. Morgan. 1993. “Who Uses the Cost-Benefit Rules of Choice?Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 56 (December): 33147.
Lau Richard R. 2003. “Models of Decision-Making.” In Political Psychology, ed. David O. Sears, Leonie Huddy, and Robert Jervis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lau Richard R., and David P. Redlawsk. 2001. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Cognitive Heuristics in Political Decision Making.” American Journal of Political Science 45 (October): 95171.
Levin Irwin P., Gary J. Gaeth, Judy Schreiber, and Marco Lauriola. 2002. “A New Look at Framing Effects.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 88 (May): 41129.
Levin Irwin P., Sandra L. Schneider, and Gary J. Gaeth. 1998. “All Frames Are Not Created Equal.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 76 (November): 14988.
Levy Jack S. 2002. “Daniel Kahneman.” PS: Political Science and Politics 35 (June): 27173.
Levy Jack S. 2003. “Applications of Prospect Theory to Political Science.” Synthese 135 (May): 21541.
Lewin Kurt. 1936. Principles of Topological Psychology. New York: McGraw–Hill.
Loke Wing Hong. 1989. “The Effects of Framing and Incomplete Information on Judgments.” Journal of Economic Psychology 10 (November): 32941.
Lombardi Wendy J., E. Tory Higgins, and John A. Bargh. 1987. “The Role of Consciousness in Priming Effects on Categorization.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 13 (September): 41129.
Martin Leonard L., and John W. Achee. 1992. “Beyond Accessibility.” In The Construction of Social Judgments, ed. Leonard L. Martin and Abraham Tesser. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Mendelberg Tali. 2002. “The Deliberative Citizen.” In Research in Micropolitics. Vol. 6, ed. Michael X. Delli Carpini, Leonie Huddy, and Robert Y. Shapiro. New York: Elsevier Press.
Morrow James D. 1994. Game Theory for Political Scientists. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Mutz Diana C., Paul M. Sniderman, and Richard A. Brody (eds.) 1996. Political Persuasion and Attitude Change. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Nelson Thomas E., Rosalee A. Clawson, and Zoe M. Oxley. 1997. “Media Framing of a Civil Liberties Conflict and Its Effect on Tolerance.” American Political Science Review 91 (September): 56783.
Nelson Thomas E., Zoe M. Oxley, and Rosalee A. Clawson. 1997. “Toward A Psychology of Framing Effects.” Political Behavior 19 (September): 22146.
O'Keefe Daniel J. 1990. Persuasion. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Oskamp Stuart. 1965. “Overconfidence in Case-Study Judgments.” Journal of Consulting Psychology 29 (June): 26165.
Payne John W., James R. Bettman, and Eric J. Johnson. 1993. The Adaptive Decision Maker. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Quattrone George, and Amos Tversky. 1988. “Contrasting Rational and Psychological Analyses of Political Choice.” American Political Science Review 82 (September): 71936.
Riker William H. 1995. “The Political Psychology of Rational Choice Theory.” Political Psychology 16 (March): 2344.
Russell Thomas, and Richard H. Thaler. 1991. “The Relevance of Quasi Rationality in Competitive Markets.” In Quasi Rational Economics, ed. Richard H. Thaler. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Scargle Jeffrey D. 2000. “Publication Bias.” Journal of Scientific Exploration 14 (Spring): 91106.
Sears David O. 1986. “College Sophomores in the Laboratory.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 51 (September): 51530.
Sears David O., Leonie Huddy, and Robert Jervis. 2003. “The Psychologies Underlying Political Psychology.” In Political Psychology, ed. David O. Sears, Leonie Huddy, and Robert Jervis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sher Shlomi, and Craig R. M. McKenzie. 2003. “Information Leakage from Logically Equivalent Frames.” Presented at the Biannual Conference on Subjective Probability, Utility, and Decision Making, Zurich, Switzerland.
Sieck Winston, and J. Frank Yates. 1997. “Exposition Effects on Decision Making.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 70 (June): 20719.
Smith Stephen M., and Irwin P. Levin. 1996. “Need for Cognition and Choice Framing Effects.” Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 9 (December): 28390.
Sniderman Paul M., Richard A. Brody, and Philip E. Tetlock. 1991. Reasoning and Choice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sniderman Paul M., Louk Hagendoorn, and Markus Prior. 2004. “Predispositional Factors and Situational Triggers.” American Political Science Review 98 (February): 3549.
Sniderman Paul M., and Sean M. Theriault. 2004. “The Structure of Political Argument and the Logic of Issue Framing.” In Studies in Public Opinion, ed. Willem E. Saris, and Paul M. Sniderman. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Tetlock Philip E. 1986. “A Value Pluralism Model of Ideological Reasoning.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50 (April): 81927.
Thaler Richard H. 1991. “The Psychology and Economics Conference Handbook.” In Quasi Rational Economics, ed. Richard H. Thaler. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Thompson Erik P., Robert J. Roman, Gordon B. Moskowitz, Shelly Chaiken, and John Bargh. 1994. “Accuracy Motivation Attenuates Covert Priming.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 66 (March): 47489.
Tindale R. Scott, Susan Sheffey, and Leslie A. Scott. 1993. “Framing and Group Decision-Making.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 55 (August): 47085.
Tomz Michael, Jason Wittenberg, and Gary King. 1999. Clarify. Version 1.2.1. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University. Retrieved June 1. http://gking.harvard.edu/http://gking.harvard.edu.
Tversky Amos, and Daniel Kahneman. 1979. “Prospect Theory.” Econometrica 47 (March): 26391.
Tversky Amos, and Daniel Kahneman. 1981. “The Framing of Decisions and the Psychology of Choice.” Science 211 (January): 45358.
Tversky Amos, and Daniel Kahneman. 1987. “Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions.” In Rational Choice, ed. Robin M. Hogarth and Melvin W. Reder. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Visser Penny S., Jon A. Krosnick, and Joseph P. Simmons. 2003. “Distinguishing the Cognitive and Behavioral Consequences of Attitude Importance and Certainty.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 39 (March): 11841.
Visser Penny S., and Robert R. Mirabile. 2003. “Attitudes in the Social Context.” Unpublished manuscript. University of Chicago.
Wilson Timothy D., and Sara D. Hodges. 1992. “Attitudes as Temporary Constructions.” In The Construction of Social Judgments, ed. Leonard L. Martin and Abraham Tesser. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Wittman Donald. 1995. The Myth of Democratic Failure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Zaller John. 1992. The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Political Preference Formation: Competition, Deliberation, and the (Ir)relevance of Framing Effects

  • JAMES N. DRUCKMAN (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed