I’VE BEEN FRAMED –
but I’m innocent!
PREVIOUS: BDs (Part 3b)
SITE: “Framing:…Least recognized daily Mental Activity”
Frames are made up of pre-conceived ideas that allow people to quickly organize & interpret new & complex information. They function as mental shortcuts or a “rule of thumb,” & in psychology, are known as scripts or schemata.
Framing is a feature of our brain’s architecture. Our minds react to the context in which something is embedded, not just to the thing itself.
EXP: The cover influences our judgment of the book, a line appears longer when vertical than when horizontal……
Goffman, in Frame Analysis wrote that people interpret what’s going on around them in their world through their primary framework – which is taken for granted by them.
He identified 2 distinctions within basic frameworks:
❖ natural = physical events, separate from any social forces
❖ social = socially driven events, based on the whims, goals & manipulations of the players, but built on natural assumptions
EXP: If you look out of 2 different windows from the same room at a landscape outside – you’ll see 2 (maybe very) different aspects of that world. It hasn’t changed – only your perspective.
USE of Frames
Artifact: giving objects intrinsic symbolic value (car=freedom)
Contrast: describing an object in terms of what it is not
Slogans, jargon : using a catchphrase to make an object more memorable & relate-able
Tradition (rituals, ceremonies) : cultural values that give great meaning to every-day objects / artifacts (buildings, land….) .
Euphemism : serving to soothe, distract or reduce conflict (I put my dog ‘to sleep’)
Metaphor: expressing an idea by comparing it to something else
Spin: presenting a concept with a value judgement (positive or negative) not immediately obvious, or create an inherent bias
Stories (myths, legends): narrative presented in a vivid & memorable way
🤓 Each type of frame has several parts, making up the whole. EXPs:
• Commercial Transaction has: seller, goods, buyer, money
• Communication: message, messenger, audience, medium, images & context
• Group Therapy: therapist, clients, personal problems, suitable location ……
Re. DM & DBs
Framing Theory can help make sense of how D.Messages lead to D.Binds, because it explains that “how something is presented influences the choices people make”.
★ If you don’t ‘set the frame’ – for yourself & with others – someone else will, AND whoever does – controls the situation by creating the context for everything that happens in the interaction
• Controlling our frame is not necessarily bad. In fact we all do it every day – parent to child, teacher to class, boss to employee…. It’s only bad when the frame is designed to con, ensnare or control another person or group.
Our personal reality is constantly changing, & always includes our active participation. It’s made up of the events, objects, processes & facts we experience, & can only be fully understood in context.
EXP : if you say “I’m on a street”, that could be anywhere.
In almost any situation, we have the choice to either frame it in a positive light, or plunge it into the dark clutches of negativity. Framing things in a positive way will improve our mood & help develop compassion for others. “I know I can figure it out”
5 WAYS information can be framed
🔹Gain F – wanting certainty & positive gains, being risk-averse
🔹Loss F – choosing a desired goal with a significant loss, rather than an unwanted goal with no loss at all = risk-seeking
🔹Goal F – respond to info based on whether it helps or hinders you trying to improve your circumstances
🔹Temporal F – choose immediate smaller rewards over long term large ones
🔹Value F – respond better if available info is framed such that it affects what you care about
EXP of a GAIN F. re DB communication = Mother to her child : “Be spontaneous.”
If the child then seems to do something unexpected (spontaneous), he can’t actually be acting spontaneously, because he’s following her direction.
Mother wants total control, so the child has to be put in a no-win situation, to prevent autonomy. Subjected to this kind of manipulative communication over many years, it’s easy to imagine how this boy could become thoroughly confused – & mentally paralyzed.
NEXT: DBs & Frames (#4b)