Using credible advice to overcome framing effects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

130 Scopus citations

Abstract

A framing effect occurs when different, but logically equivalent, words or phrases (e.g., 10% employment or 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-82
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Law, Economics, and Organization
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Law

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