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Framing Effects Study Summary

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2650
Dan Meegan

Framing Effects Framing (Lecture) • Framing Effects: Different choices among the same alternatives, depending on how the alternatives are stated • Some individuals whose career is made on framing information to present to different audiences so that it is more palatable ◦ Republican example: “tax relief” instead of “tax cuts” • When saying the same thing one way gets different results • Disease Example Framing Effects in the Real World (Lecture) • Acountry is preparing for an outbreak of disease that is expected to kill 600 people. Given two alternatives ◦ ProgramA: 200 people will be saved ▪ Subjective Value = 72% ▪ In this case, most people would choose to save the 200 lives ◦ Program B: 1/3 probability 600 people will be saved, 2/3 probability no one will be saved ▪ Subjective Value = 28% ▪ In this case, most people would not choose the lower probability of saving lives • Same scenario with the same two alternatives stated differently often change the way people react. ◦ ProgramA: 400 people will die ▪ Subjective Value = 22% ▪ In this case, most people would not choose the higher probability of death ◦ Program D: 1/3 probability no one will die, 2/3 probability 600 people will die ▪ Subjective Value = 78% ▪ In this case, most people would choose the chance that no people will die • What treatments a doctor will choose depends on whether the treatment is described in terms of odds of living or odds of dying. ◦ Discussing outcomes in terms of death completely changes our perception of the decision Framing Effects (Lecture) • Occur in situations where there is not a clear basis for making a decision ◦ In the disease scenario there is no obviously better decision ▪ No clear basis for which to make the treatment decision ▪ Could argue persuasively that it is better to choose programAand avoid the risk of losing all 600 people ▪ Could argue persuasively that it is better to choose program B and take the chance that not a single individual will die from the disease • So people make choices based on which is easiest to justify • Disease example: ◦ 1st framing focuses on saving lives ▪ Choice is 200 lives saved ▪ Phrased in terms of gains ◦ 2nd framing focuses on avoiding deaths ▪ Choice is chance of no deaths ▪ Phrased in terms of losses Making Better Decisions (In-Class Video) • We routinely come to different conclusions about the same problem depending on how we look at the problem ◦ Decision to take the 20 or gamble ◦ The way he presents the propositi
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