Framing Bias

Framing bias - mental model - Framing what the customer likes

I actually ask the following question in interviews to see how people respond.

Exercise 1

Let's say you want to go out for a picnic. Let's say you are presented two choices:

  • Going out Thursday when there is a 90% chance of Sunshine
  • Going out Friday where there is a 10% chance of Bad weather

Most of you are likely to choose Thursday even if we don't know what the other (10%) climatic conditions looks like.

This is the Framing effect.

Exercise 2

Let's take another example : Which Yogurt will you choose ?


Framing often comes in the form of gains or losses, as in prospect theory . This theory demonstrates that a loss is perceived as more significant, and thus more worthy of avoiding, than an equivalent gain. Humans prefer a sure gain to a probable gain. Likewise, humans prefer a probable loss to a sure loss

Examples in Media

Media is very effective in using framing techniques to divert or grab the attention of viewers. One of the examples that can be mentioned is the change of the word 'global warming' to 'climate change'. It has been stated that such a change was made for political reasons, since apparently, the word 'climate change' is less scary than its counterpart. Of course. scientifically, the meaning of both the terms is different. However, such a speculation in the media certainly created different 'frames' towards the approach of this sensitive issue.

Exercise :

  • Give examples in Media / Politics where framing is used