I’m sure you’ve all long forgotten about the framing project that I discussed on this blog late last year, but in case someone out there remembers it, I wanted to give you an update. I still want to collect the category norms that I discussed. That is, I want to have people list features of political concepts like abortion, social security, war, etc., along with concepts related to Lakoff’s framing analysis such as family, nation, and the like (if you’d like to help me write the code for this, let me know). However, not long after I discussed the project on this blog, my perspective changed in some fundamental ways. While I still think that schemas and structural alignment (ideas that I’d be happy to discuss in greater detail, if you’re interested) are important, I now think their roles are different. That is, I think that my approach to framing was actually too influenced, or constrained, by Lakoff’s own. One paper in particular, along with discussions I’ve had about it with other psychologists, has made this painfully clear to me. The paper by Phillip Wolff, which was published in the February issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, is titled Representing Causation. Sometime in the near future, I’m going to describe the model presented in that paper, and the experiments used to support it, and afterwards, discuss the approach to framing analysis that I am working on with another psychologist (whose name I’m withholding for purely selfish reasons — to maintain my own anonymity) that was inspired by that model.
We’re currently in the process of beginning a research program to test our approach, and I’m still very interested in using blogs, with their potential for recruiting samples much more diverse than those obtained from undergraduate research pools, to test our predictions. I’m also interested in receiving comments, suggestions, and other forms of help (including, if you’re really, really interested, collaboration) from readers. So keep an eye out over the next week or so, as I’ll try as hard as I can to explain what we’re thinking, and where we are now. If you read the Wolff paper on your own, and want to discuss our approach before then, send me an email.