Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Framing the Discussion

In recent days I have heard multiple time the concept of a "competitive" price. What exactly is a competitive price? who knows?

But, first a thought as to why terms like "competitive price" are used.

Framing, a term used in media studies, sociology and psychology, refers to the social construction of a social phenomenon by mass media sources or specific political or social movements or organizations. It is an inevitable process of selective influence over the individual's perception of the meanings attributed to words or phrases. A frame defines the packaging of an element of rhetoric in such a way as to encourage certain interpretations and to discourage others.

Framing is so effective because it is a heuristic, or mental shortcut. According to Susan T. Fiske and Shelley E. Taylor, human beings are by nature “cognitive misers”, meaning they prefer to do as little thinking as possible. Frames provide people a quick and easy way to process information. Hence, people will use the previously mentioned mental filters (a series of which is called a schema) to make sense of incoming messages. This gives the sender and framer of the information enormous power to use these schemas to influence how the receivers will interpret the message.[

Naturally, when one hears the term "competitive pricing" regarding farm milk, anyone is likely to think everyone is going to run the price up for my milk. Not likely. Everyone should make a list of all the dirty tricks used to drive down farm milk price and then double the number.

Careful of term which shortcut thinking.

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