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Characteristics of quantifiers moderate the framing effect

Holford, Dawn L and Juanchich, Marie and Sirota, Miroslav (2022) 'Characteristics of quantifiers moderate the framing effect.' Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 35 (1). ISSN 0894-3257

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The attribute framing effect, where people judge a quantity of an item more positively with a positively described attribute (e.g., “75% lean”) than its negative, albeit normatively equivalent description (e.g., “25% fat”), is a robust phenomenon, which may be moderated under certain conditions. In this paper, we investigated the moderating effect of the characteristics of the quantifier term: its format (verbal, e.g., “high,” or numerical, e.g., “75%”) and magnitude (i.e., if it is a small or large quantity) using positive or negative synonyms of attributes (e.g., energy vs. calories). Over five pre-registered studies using a 2 (synonym, between-subjects: positive or negative) × 2 (quantifier format, between-subjects: verbal or numerical) × 2 (quantifier magnitude, within-subjects: small or large) mixed design, we manipulated quantifier format and magnitude orthogonally for synonyms with differing valence. We also tested two mechanisms for the framing effect: whether the effect was mediated by the affect associated with the frame and whether participants inferred the speaker to be positive about the target. We found a framing effect with synonyms that was reversed in direction for the small (vs. large) quantifiers, but not significantly moderated by quantifier format. Both the affect associated with the frame and the inferred level of speaker positivity partially mediated the framing effect, and the level of mediation varied with quantifier magnitude. These results suggest that the magnitude of the quantifier modifies one's evaluation of the frame, and the mechanism for people's evaluations in a framing situation may differ for small and large quantifiers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: affective encoding; attribute framing; framing effect; pragmatic inference; quantifiers; synonym frames
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 21 May 2021 10:48
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:24

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