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Source: The Decision Lab
Published: January 2020

Framing effect (Behavioral Economics)

Circulated: December 10, 2020

What is it?

The framing effect is the psychological idea that we process the same piece of information differently depending on how it is framed.

What are examples?

Version A:

  • 2 out of every 100 patients die as a result of the surgery
  • the service costs $730 a year
  • 20% fat ground beef

Version B

  • the surgery has a 98% survival rate
  • you’ll only pay $2 a day for the service
  • 80% lean ground beef

How can we make better decisions?

Framing is a tool of persuasion. Try to reframe a convincing claim in a new way to see if it becomes less compelling if phrased differently. If you want to avoid framing, then explain the rationale behind your decisions, even if you’re only explaining them to yourself.

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