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Kao-Ping Chua - Introduction to Framing -
July 2, 2012
he term “framing” comes from cognitive science, which defines a frame as a conceptual structure involved with thinking. To paraphrase an example used by the framing expert George Lakoff, saying the word “elephant” evokes the elephant frame, which is associated with the terms “animal,” “big”, “grey”, “floppy ears”, etc.1 The elephant frame might be depicted schematically as follows: Animal Big Elephant The above is a simplified diagram, as “animal”, “big”, “grey”, and “floppy ears” each have secondary associations of their own. Framing can be thought of as telling a story about the world. The elephant frame tells a story about a big, grey, animal with floppy ears called “elephant.” More broadly, there is a popular American cultural narrative in which hard working people who pull themselves up by the bootstraps will succeed in life. This "hard work equals success" frame is an important way in which many Americans think about the world. Frames are fundamentally about our relationship to -
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