Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Framing effect - Is it worth it ?

Framing effect  is one of the significant components in the marketing field. The L’Oréal advertisement is one of the best examples of framing effect.

Framing effect is considered to occur when equivalent description of a decision problem lead to systematically different decisions. (Shafir & LeBoeuf 2002.)  In other words, it means that customer's decisions can be affected by any phrases in the advertisement. The Loreal campaign for marketing its brand of women's cosmetics is very popular for its phrase "Because you are worth it". 

This phrase affect issues that women may have about self-esteem and beauty. It also addresses the issue of a woman's independence. Why does a woman buy the cosmetics form Loreal? It is because they are worth it !.

There are some empirical evidences for the framing effect. Levin, Schneider, and Gaeth's (1998) found a valence- consistent shift. This means that objects described in terms of a positively valenced proportion are generally evaluated more favorably than objects described in terms of the corresponding negatively valenced porption.
For example, when the participants were exposed to those phrases,

A; If this program is adopted, 200 people will be saved
B: If this program is adopted, there is a one-third probability that 600 people will be saved and a two-thirds probability that no people will be saved.

they tend to prefer the sure thing when given options A and B.

On the other hand, when the subjects were exposed  to phrases like
C; If this program is adopted, 400 people will die
D: If this program is adopted, there is a one- third probability that nobody will die and a two-thirds probability that 6000 people will die

the participants tend to choose more risky one for this negative phrases containing the word "die".

This empirical evidence clearly supports how important it is to have a positive or a negative phrase in the advertisement. Depending on the phrases, the customer's behaviour can be changed.


Shafir, E. & R. A. LeBoeuf. 2002. “Rationality.” Annual Review of Psychology 53: 491- 517.

Levin, I. P., & G. J. Gaeth. 1988. “How Consumers are Affected by the Framing of Attribute Information Before and After Consuming the Product.” Journal of Consumer Research 15: 374-378

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