Time For Change: How Temporal Frames Shape Judgments And Decisions About Health, Wealth, And The Environment
My dissertation examines how temporal framing of social events can lead to meaningful changes in judgments holding downstream implications for social change. Chapter 1 lays out the phenomenological focus and theoretical motivations of the dissertation, setting the scope and plan of the investigation. Chapter 2 shows that highlighting a soft-drink company's future (planned) advertising campaign targeting youth-compared to one it had already implemented in the past-evoked more negative emotions toward the soda company and, in turn, drew more public support for soda taxes. Chapter 3 examines the uses and influences of temporal duration (short-term versus long-term) frames in communication about income inequality. Using either short-term or long-term framing, describing economic inequality in terms of its growth over a period of time in the past is associated with reduced support for policy action among the very group it needs to persuade to generate majority support (conservatives). Chapter 4 examines the uses and influences of temporal direction frames (past versus future) in communication about income inequality. A computerized linguistic analysis suggests the default temporal orientations manifested in communication about income inequality in daily news discourse, revealing a dominant past frame. Contrasting to this, two follow-up randomized experiments suggest that forecasting the future of income inequality (e.g., the rich will get richer versus the rich got richer) could be more effective in raising political conservatives' moral intuitions that govern concern for individual welfare and justice and, in turn, lead to greater support for redistributive policy initiatives. Contrary to Chapters 2 and 4, Chapter 5 describes how prospective framing in communication, when expressed in terms of certainty, can also be counterproductive. A computerized linguistic analysis shows that conservative (versus liberal) media tends to be more future-oriented and less past-oriented in terms of its language uses in headlines of news stories dealing with global warming. Importantly, a follow-up survey experiment using a nationally representative sample shows that forecasting the future consequences of global warming-with certainty-further reduces skeptics' core climate beliefs (here, Republicans), increasing polarization. In Chapter 6, I conclude by discussing the broad implications of the findings covered in this dissertation.
Temporal Framing; Social Change; Judgment and Decision Making
Niederdeppe,Jeffrey D. H.
Dunning,David Alan; McComas,Katherine Anne; Shapiro,Michael A
Ph. D., Communication
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis