Framing effects have a profound impact on most areas of human psychology. These effects have been studied extensively, but have not been applied broadly to how people interact with information on the Internet. The present paper provides evidence that frames influence people’s productivity on the Internet across a variety of tasks. Experiment 1 demonstrates that satisfaction is increased by presenting information in a list for tasks that involve simple processing of information. For more complex information, hierarchical navigation was shown to increase satisfaction significantly. Experiment 2 provides evidence that abstract information, such as monetary values, must be presented in terms of concrete frames. Specifically, we demonstrate that framing discounts in terms of dollars off, instead of additional goods received, tends to be less effective given the complexity of processing abstract information. In both cases, the type of information presented affects people’s levels of satisfaction and performance.
Framing effects Decision making Internet Behavioral economics Purchase behavior