On Tuesday, February 22 Categories:

?Do not think of a dog.?

Immediately, an image of a dog will appear in your mind when you read the word ?dog?. This is a classic example of framing. Framing is widely used, especially by politicians, as it is considered to be among the most powerful persuasion techniques.

Why is framing so powerful? Simply put, the technique of framing is a covert persuasion technique, meaning that it affects the target subconsciously, without the target ever realising it. With this in mind, I would strongly advise you to use this for ethical intentions only.

What is framing? Framing refers to the presentation of an option in different formats that can affect the decisions of people. For example:

Two drugs have been invented to save the lives of cancer patients. The drugs have been offered to 500 patients. Drug A is able to save the lives of 200 patients while the use of Drug B carried a possibility that 60% of the 500 patients will die.

Will you choose A or B?

I believe that you will most likely choose Drug A. The above scenario was actually the subject of an experiment by psychological researchers to study whether framing will affect one?s decision. 78% of the subjects chose Drug A while only 22% chose Drug B regardless of the fact that with both scenarios, the same number of patients (200 patients) could be saved!

Why is this so? Drug A presented a positive frame (200 patients can be saved) while Drug B presented a comparatively negative one (60% of the 500 patients may die). Subconsciously, we will weigh the risks and we perceive Drug A to look safer than Drug B. In fact, both drugs have the exact same result.

Framing impacts people, because individuals perceive losses and gains differently, as illustrated in prospect theory by psychologists Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman. The prospect theory illustrates an important underlying factor to framing: a loss is more devastating than the equivalent gain is gratifying. This means that when faced with two choices, people tend to choose the one that is presented more positively (e.g. benefits are stated) rather than the one that is presented more negatively (e.g. potential losses or harmful effects are stated), even though the choices may have the same results.

Politicians use framing all the time to persuade people to trust them. Do the following sound familiar to you?

Politician: ?At least 20,000 people have found a job in the last year?

Instead of

Politician: ?15.1 million people are still unemployed in the United States?

By emphasizing on the positives instead of the negatives, the government cleverly manipulates the situation to get the people to have faith in them and remain loyal to them.

You need not be a politician to exercise framing on other people. In fact, framing can be used by anyone, at anywhere and anytime. It can even be used in circumstance like this:

You: Do you want to watch Hurt Locker or Avatar?

Friend: Which movie is better?

You: Avatar had grossed over $2.6 billion over the globe while Hurt Locker only won a few awards.

Friend: Hmm. I think we shall watch Avatar.

In this circumstance, you had used the technique of framing to affect your friend?s mind. By showing that Avatar had grossed more than $2.6 billion worldwide and Hurt Locker only winning few awards, your friend will perceive that Avatar will be a better movie since it attracted so many people to watch it. (In fact, Hurt Locker won the Oscar Best Picture award).

Have fun trying this technique out! I hope it works for you!

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By: Vincent Kyle Ng

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Vincent Kyle Ng is the founder of a website ( www.thesecretofpersuasion.com ) that aspires to help others by giving advice and information on the latest strategies in the fields of persuasion, influence, public speaking, relationships and much more.

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