Can Emotions Capture the Elusive Gain-Loss Framing Effect? A Meta-Analysis

  • Robin Nabi (Creator)
  • Nathan Walter (Creator)
  • Neekaan Oshidary (Contributor)
  • Camille G. Endacott (Creator)
  • Jessica Love-Nichols (Creator)
  • Z. J. Lew (Contributor)
  • Alex Aune (Creator)



Although recent streams of research have suggested that emotions play a key role in generating framing effects, little is known about the affective dimension of gain and loss framing and its potential impact on persuasion. The current study adopted a meta-analytical approach, synthesizing over 30 years of literature (k = 25, N = 5,772), to investigate this issue. The results indicate that message frame type directs the emotional response elicited in the audience, with gain frames inducing positive emotions (d = .31, p = .02) and loss frames inducing negative emotions (d = .22, p = .001). In turn, the experience of positive emotions enhances the influence of gain frames (b = .18, p = .045), whereas negative emotions augment the effects of loss frames (b = −.70, p = .01). These findings confirm that emotional responses may offer a pathway through which gain- and loss-framed messages exert persuasive influence. The study integrates the results with the emotions-as-frames perspective and proposes several promising avenues for future research.
Date made available2019

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