How Partisan Frames Affect Public Consideration of Policy Problems

16 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 18 Sep 2009

See all articles by Jennifer K. Benz

Jennifer K. Benz

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Political Science

Thomas Carsey

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

Bruce A. Desmarais

Pennsylvania State University

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

In the paper, we use an experimental design to assess the effect that partisan framing of a policy problem has on individuals’ preferences for a policy solution. We combine key elements from work on prospect theory, framing effects, and attitude formation to develop a theory of policy evaluation by citizens faced with alternatives involving risk. We test the predictions derived from our theory using a hypothetical, but timely, health care reform proposal. As a first cut at this question, the results of this preliminary test of our theory support two of our three hypotheses, suggesting additional implications for the application of prospect theory to the study of opinion formation surrounding domestic policy issues.

Suggested Citation

Benz, Jennifer K. and Carsey, Thomas and Desmarais, Bruce A., How Partisan Frames Affect Public Consideration of Policy Problems (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1449875

Jennifer K. Benz (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Political Science ( email )

361 Hamilton Hall
CB#3265
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

Thomas Carsey

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill ( email )

102 Ridge Road
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27514
United States

Bruce A. Desmarais

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park, State College, PA 16801
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.psu.edu/desmaraisgroup

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