IntroductionFraming I
Framing II
Framing III
Framing IV
Framing V
Framing VI
Framing VII
Framing VIII

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Frame Defense

 Defense Shield  Although frames can be used for good or ill, you have seen how easily they can be used to manipulate people. How does one defend oneself against manipulative frames? A difficult question, to be sure. I believe most frames escape notice, because humans are generally too busy or distracted to realize an issue has been framed. Nonetheless, I recommend the following steps to combat framing manipulation:

Write the decision, with "vs." between issues. Then ask: "Are these truly the issues, or have they shifted?" If so, reframe.



If a decision seems to be a simple open-and-shut case, ask, "What other frames would be appropriate? Is this decision really this simple or is an existing frame making it seem so?"



Remember that you are in charge of your frames. Ask yourself, "What's important here?" and then act accordingly. For instance, the young parents introduced on the page entitled Three Framed Victims should have asked themselves, "Do we have money to spend on this set of books? Or is there something more important to our family's welfare in which we should invest?"



If you encounter a situation in which a communicator stands to benefit from your compliance, ask: "What's the agenda for the person presenting this information? Why is this particular aspect of the topic being made salient?" Be suspicious. Attempt to counter with alternate frames.



Beware of anything that physically frames. Like a TV! Notice its wider-than-tall proportion, and the way the TV case surrounds the picture tube? It's a frame! Anything you see on TV has already been framed for you. The same goes for the web, radio, newspapers, and magazines, as well as pictures in museums! A frame isn't necessarily bad, but keep in mind that it does require you view the situation from a certain perspective.

I hope you make sure a framed perspective is beneficial for you, too--not just for the person who made the frame!

Copyright © 1997 by Kelton Rhoads, Ph.D.
All rights reserved.

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