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Focus to an attribute with verbal or numerical quantifiers affects the attribute framing effect

Liu Xiaodan, Dawn and Juanchich, Marie and Sirota, Miroslav (2020) 'Focus to an attribute with verbal or numerical quantifiers affects the attribute framing effect.' Acta Psychologica, 208. ISSN 0001-6918

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Abstract

People find positive attribute frames (e.g., 75% lean) more persuasive than negative ones (e.g., 25% fat). In three pre-registered experiments, we tested whether this effect would be magnified by using verbal quantifiers instead of numerical ones (e.g., ‘high % lean’ vs. ‘75% lean’). This moderating effect of quantifier format was predicted based on previous empirical work and two non-exclusive accounts of framing effects. First, verbal quantifiers are presumed to be a more intuitive format than numerical quantifiers, so might predispose people more to judgement biases such as the framing effect. Second, verbal quantifiers draw a greater focus to the attributes they describe. This could provide a linguistic signal that the positive frame is better than the negative one. In three experiments, we manipulated the attribute frame (positive or negative) and the quantifier format (verbal or numerical) between-subjects, and quantity pairs (e.g., 5% fat and 95% lean or 25% fat and 75% lean) within-subjects. We also tested if participants focused more on the attributes in the frame, by measuring whether participants selected causal sentence completions about the beef that focused on why it had fat meat or lean meat. Results showed a robust framing effect, which was partially mediated by the focus of the sentence completions. However, the verbal format did not increase the magnitude of the framing effect. These results suggest that a focus on the attribute contributes to the framing effect, but contrary to past work, this focus is not different between verbal and numerical quantifiers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: attribute framing; framing effect; quantifiers; associative encoding; pragmatic inference; focus
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 11 May 2020 13:16
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2020 16:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27507

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