Special Session Summary Strategic Framing: the Art and Science of Influencing Others

Rebecca W. Hamilton, University of Maryland
[ to cite ]:
Rebecca W. Hamilton (2001) ,"Special Session Summary Strategic Framing: the Art and Science of Influencing Others", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, eds. Mary C. Gilly and Joan Meyers-Levy, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 450.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 28, 2001     Page 450

SPECIAL SESSION SUMMARY

STRATEGIC FRAMING: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF INFLUENCING OTHERS

Rebecca W. Hamilton, University of Maryland

This session examined framing as a persuasion tactic that people use strategically when communicating with others. The first paper, presented by Tom Nelson, began by distinguishing framing from more traditional forms of persuasion. While traditional definitions of persuasion suppose that beliefs change when individuals are given new information, framing causes individuals to weight the information they already have differently. The next two papers examined the strategic behavior of "nanve" peopleBthose without formal training in persuasion tacticsBin negotiations and group decision making. Rick Larrick discussed the effectiveness of nanve bargainers in choosing the frames that are most beneficial for them. Rebecca Hamilton presented experimental evidence suggesting that people may intuitively influence others’ choices by defining the context in which alternatives are evaluated.

 

"ISSUE FRAMING, VALUE TRADEOFFS, AND POLITICAL CHOICE"

Thomas E. Nelson, Ohio State University

Tom Nelson, from the Political Science department at Ohio State University, suggested that framing analysis appeals as much to scholars studying political choice as it does to those studying consumer choice. Political actors and institutions, from candidates for office to the news media, frame issues of public concern, with implications for public opinion and policy choice. His research examines how issue frames influence the tradeoffs citizens make between competing social values. He contrasted this mechanism for opinion change with other plausible psychological processes, such as belief revision and cognitive accessibility, and he described three specific framing strategies that affect citizens’ resolution of value conflict: issue categorization, value ranking, and institutional goal assignment.

 

"ON CHOOSING FRAMES AND BEING FRAMED IN BARGAINING"

Richard P. Larrick, University of Chicago

Sally Blount, University of Chicago

An abundance of research shows that people’s choices are influenced by how decisions are framed. This research asked two new questions: Can self-interested parties use framing to influence social interactions? How do recipients of influence atempts react to "being framed?" The authors addressed these questions using a simple bargaining task known as the ultimatum game. Across four studies and three framing effects, they found that bargainers are poor at choosing the frame most advantageous to them. Rick Larrick discussed the motivational and cognitive reasons for these shortcomings, and concluded by reviewing on-going research on how people react to "being framed" in bargaining.

 

"WHY DO PEOPLE SUGGEST WHAT THEY DON’T WANT? USING MENUS TO INFLUENCE OTHERS’ CHOICES"

Rebecca W. Hamilton, University of Maryland

Why would people suggest alternatives to others that they don’t want them to choose? Constructing comparisons for others can draw out tradeoffs among alternatives or create contrasts that influence others’ choices. Because the contrasts and tradeoffs inherent in a menu can systematically affect others’ choices, the person suggesting alternatives for a choice has substantial power to shape the decision process and the outcome. Rebecca Hamilton discussed four studies that tested subjects’ knowledge of these strategies, their willingness to use them for real group choices, and the effectiveness of these strategies given others’ beliefs about the manner in which the menu was constructed.

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