Framing (Kahneman and Tversky)

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Definition: Framing (Kahneman and Tversky)

A frame is anything that we use to perceive a situation like the combination of beliefs, values, attitudes, mental models etc. The frame significantly effects how we infer the meaning of the situation and hence understand it.

Kahneman and Tversky defined a decision frame as ‘the decision-maker’s conception of the act, outcomes and contingencies associated with a particular choice.’ A set of experiments on framing performed by psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman indicated that different phrasing affected participants' responses to a question.

The inference from the study was that the framing of choice in terms of gain will push people towards a certain decision, whilst framing it in terms of a loss increases the chance that people will decide otherwise.


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