Original Article

Mind & Society

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 123-138

First online:

Caring about framing effects

  • Amber N. BloomfieldAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Northwestern University Email author 
  • , Josh A. SagerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Northwestern University
  • , Daniel M. BartelsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Northwestern University
  • , Douglas L. MedinAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Northwestern University

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We explored the relationship between qualities of victims in hypothetical scenarios and the appearance of framing effects. In past studies, participants’ feelings about the victims have been demonstrated to affect whether framing effects appear, but this relationship has not been directly examined. In the present study, we examined the relationship between caring about the people at risk, the perceived interdependence of the people at risk, and frame. Scenarios were presented that differed in the degree to which participants could be expected to care about the group and the extent to which the group could be construed as interdependent. A framing effect was found only for the scenario describing the victims as the participants’ friends who did not know each other (high caring/low interdependence), and this went in the opposite direction from typical framing effects. Finally, perceived interdependence and caring affected choice both within and across scenarios, with more risky choices made by participants with high interdependence ratings and high caring ratings.


Framing effects Group size effects Value function Interdependence Caring Risk