Issue frames are a central concept in studying public opinion, and are thought to operate by foregrounding related considerations in citizens’ minds. But scholarship has yet to consider the breadth of framing e ects by testing whether frames influence attitudes beyond the specific issue they highlight. For example, does a discussion of terrorism a ect opinions on proximate issues like crime or even more remote issues like poverty? By measuring the breadth of framing e ects, we can assess the extent to which citizens’ political considerations are cognitively organized by issues. We undertake a population-based survey experiment with roughly 3,300 respondents which includes frames related to terrorism, crime, health care, and government spending. The results demonstrate that framing e ects are narrow, with limited but discernible spillover on proximate, structurally similar issues. Discrete issues not only organize elite politics but also exist in voters’ minds, a finding with implications for studying ideology as well as framing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Framing e ects
- Survey experiment