The Frame: An Introduction
As mentioned earlier, the scientific study of influence is
endowed with a wealth of verifiable facts, phenomena, and reliable
effects. One of the difficulties in writing about influence is
that different phenomena occupy different amounts of "space"
in the geography of social influence. For instance, on the Mindful & Mindless page, I discussed
just one of many variables that is currently rearranging the
way we view persuasion. Despite its importance, I devoted only
a few pages to the concept--one of the limitations of an overview
as provided by this web site.
Imagine that you visit Arizona, and we go to the desert and walk out under the stunning Arizona night sky. As we look up at the uncountable number of stars, we see a particularly bright grouping of them. You ask what that grouping is, and I tell you it's the constellation Scorpio. It's a beautiful asterism, easily observable by eye alone. Then I tell you there's something really interesting I'd like to show you--a star cluster in the constellation Hercules. It can't be seen by the unaided eye, so out comes the telescope--and you are soon enjoying a view of an amazing cluster of stars. One asterism was large and obvious, the other much smaller but equally beautiful. To get an appreciation of the night sky, it must be explored on both a macro and micro scale.
The same holds true for social influence. We've explored a large topic, mindfulness & mindlessness, by eye. Now it's time to unpack the telescope and zoom in on a single psychological phenomenon.
I can't stress enough that this website (large as it is!)
is only a tiny taste of what's out there to be known about influence.
Our next topic, Framing, is only
one of thousands of phenomena we can examine within the social
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