Skip main navigation

Framing effects: Part 2

Here we describe the classic findings on the framing effect described in the previous step.
The same piece of a jigsaw held in the left and right hands
© The University of York

The Framing Effect: The classic findings

The classic finding is that the majority decide on Program A in the Group 1 scenario and Program D in the Group 2 scenario.
Well, you might ask what’s the problem with that? The answer is that the two scenarios are identical; they are just described differently. In this regard, the issue is to do with being able to reason in a consistent fashion – surely if the same problem is being repeatedly tested then a consistent reasoner would provide the same answer on both occasions? The fact that this does not tend to occur shows that the manner in which claims and evidence are presented profoundly influence how we reason about the world.
The basic finding is that people are much less likely to take a risky gamble when they are guaranteed a gain (as in Group 1) than they are to take a risky gamble when they are guaranteed a loss (as in Group 2). This is despite the fact that the actual possible outcomes are the same in both cases.
Next we go onto test the replicability of this pattern in our second class exercise.
© The University of York
This article is from the free online

Introduction to Cognitive Psychology: An Experimental Science

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education