Attribute Framing and Goal Framing Effects in Health Decisions

Organ Behav Hum Decis Process. 2001 Jul;85(2):382-399. doi: 10.1006/obhd.2001.2962.


Levin, Schneider, and Gaeth (LSG, 1998) have distinguished among three types of framing-risky choice, attribute, and goal framing-to reconcile conflicting findings in the literature. In the research reported here, we focus on attribute and goal framing. LSG propose that positive frames should be more effective than negative frames in the context of attribute framing, and negative frames should be more effective than positive frames in the context of goal framing. We test this framework by manipulating frame valence (positive vs negative) and frame type (attribute vs goal) in a unified context with common procedures. We also argue that the nature of effects in a goal-framing context may depend on the extent to which the research topic has "intrinsic self-relevance" to the population. In the context of medical decision making, we operationalize low intrinsic self-relevance by using student subjects and high intrinsic self-relevance by using patients. As expected, we find complete support for the LSG framework under low intrinsic self-relevance and modified support for the LSG framework under high intrinsic self-relevance. Overall, our research appears to confirm and extend the LSG framework. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.