Framing Effect

Moms often sayYou can tell a lot about folks by how they present themselves in every way.” “Location, location, location” also rings popular as a realtor’s refrain while “presentation is everything” is a connoisseur’s description for a dinner that’s never plain. Framing our view does more than showcase a photo it positions choices in selecting a way we should go.

Framed choices highlight positive and negative poles of a decision… leading to how we view them through our judging perceptive vision. Presenting alternative boundaries around equal factors is called the Framing Effect. Decision making is primarily driven by the way these posed equivalent options project.

Daily decisions are commonly made around risks, qualities, and goals. Risk framing, for instance, is losing 1 out of 10 lives to disease versus the opportunity to save 9 out of 10 fortunate souls…  quality framing might compare beef that’s 10% fat versus 90% lean, while goal framing is illustrated by motivating folks with an offer of a glass of wine half full versus somewhere in between.

Choices are made depending on whether we perceive them as a gain or loss. In decision making perceived gains drive selections to win while perceived costs guide us to those we can toss.

Susceptibility to the framing effect increases with age… a relevant fact  when  considering  health  care,  breaking  news,  and  financial decisions  we  gauge.  With  age,  even  when  equal,    perceived  “sure things” receive our vote versus selections we see as too risky to tote. With medical care we’re significantly more likely to agree to a treatment when positive outcomes are statistically framed than we’re to say ok to the same treatment and outcome when associated negative numbers are clearly explained.

When it comes to framing our view on what we say and do it’s a Funny Feeling to know framing leads our brain to weigh perceived inconsistencies within a decision making stew. A simple description change after making an initial selection… often leads to revoking the decision in favor of a different direction.  As mom may say in framing choices from our head to our TOES…  clothes don’t make the person… it’s the person that makes the CLOTHES…

Copyright Alan P. Xenakis, MD Air Date November 16, 2017

Framing Our View Doc X MD and Audra RN Funny Feelings©