A theory of framing and opinion formation in competitive elite environments

Dennis Chong, James N Druckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

559 Scopus citations


Public opinion often depends on how elites choose to frame issues. For example, citizens' opinions about a Ku Klux Klan rally may depend on whether elites frame the event as a free-speech issue or a public safety issue. Past research has focused largely on documenting the size of framing effects in uncontested settings. By contrast, there has been little research on framing in competitive environments in which individuals receive multiple frames representing alternative positions on an issue. We take an initial step toward understanding how frames work in competitive environments by integrating research on attitude structure and persuasion. Our theory of framing identifies the key individual and contextual parameters that determine which of many competing frames will have an effect on public opinion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-118
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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