Choices can be presented in a way that highlights the positive or negative aspects of the same decision, leading to changes in their relative attractiveness. This technique was part of Tversky and Kahneman’s development of prospect theory, which framed gambles in terms of losses or gains (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979). Different types of framing approaches have been identified, including risky choice framing (e.g. the risk of losing 10 out of 100 lives vs the opportunity to save 90 out of 100 lives), attribute framing (e.g. beef that is 95% lean vs 5% fat), and goal framing (e.g. motivating people by offering a $5 reward vs imposing a $5 penalty) (Levin et al., 1998).

The concept of framing also has a long history in political communication, where it refers to  the informational emphasis a communicator chooses to place in a particular message. In this domain, research has considered how framing affects public opinions of political candidates, policies, or broader issues (Busby et al., 2018).


Busby, E., Flynn, D. J., & Druckman, J. N. (2018). Studying framing effects on political preferences: Existing research and lingering questions. In P. D’Angelo (Ed.), Doing News Framing Analysis II (pp. 67-90). New York: Routledge.

Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica, 47, 263-291.

Levin, I. P., Schneider, S. L., & Gaeth, G. J. (1998). All frames are not created equal: A typology and critical analysis of framing effects. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 76, 149-188.