Cognitive Framing Theory and Spiral or Silence – Research Paper Example

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Negating frames tend to activate the frames. For example, when President Nixon argued that he was not a crook, it made people believe that he was indeed a crook. Human behaviors are thus influenced and guided by the communication that feeds the brains. It is evident that people with a negative attitude have a background of negative communications and discouragement. This is contrary to people with confidence who are characterized by good upbringing and a positive outlook for the future. In their study, Tversky and Kahneman found that the influence of rational decision is not solely determined by the rational choice theory (Lakoff, 2010).

However, the decision that people makes in life if determined largely by how the choices are framed. Given a choice of either a positive outcome or gain with an uncertain promise, people tend to choose gain rather than an uncertain gain. This is the case that Tversky and Kahneman argued for cognitive framing theory (Lakoff, 2010). Lakoff point out that communication itself is a metaphor and is comprised of the frame (Lakoff, Framing and Framing Theory, 2004).

To this effect, one can deduce communications elements that comprise of the frame as the message, the medium, the audience and the images. Moreover, communication frames also include the messenger, the context and the moral authority and conceptual frames (Lakoff, Framing and Framing Theory, 2004). Therefore, how well a person chooses his language is important in determining the effects because the messages evoke frames. Because it takes time to build systems of frames, it is hard to put the message across because the audience will not decipher. However, for the audiences that have built the systems of frames for years, the speaker uses few words to explain complex matter.

This is because the audiences have system of frames that relate to the message. This is the case for the conservative all over the world. The conservative understand their ideologies, as well as their expectation in politics. Moreover, communication between them is much easier than talking to the liberal. The cognitive framing theory can explain the increased taste of war by the media audiences. Much of the content in our media is full of violence, and audiences have developed frames of war.

They understand conflict better than any other agenda of the Western allies. However, the aim of the Western government is to create system frames among the people so that they easily accept their agenda for war.


Lakoff, G. (2004, August 08). Framing and Framing Theory. Retrieved from California State University, Northridge:

Lakoff, G. (2010). Environmental Communication. A Journal of Nature and Culture, 70-81.

Moscovici, S. (1991). Silent majorities and loud minorities. In J. A. Anderson (Ed.),

Communication Yearbook, 14 (298-308). London: Sage.

Noelle-Neumann, E. (1991). The theory of public opinion: The concept of the spiral of

silence. In J. A. Anderson (Ed.), Communication Yearbook, 14 (256-287).

London: Sage.

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