Deep Thoughts and Shallow Frames: On the Susceptibility to Framing Effects

Robyn A. LeBoeuf, Eldar Shafir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


This paper examines the occurrence of framing effects when more thought is given to problems. In Study 1, participants were presented with one of two frames of several decision problems. Participants' Need for Cognition (NC) scores were obtained, and half the participants were asked to justify their choices. Substantial framing effects were observed, but the amount of thought purportedly given to a problem, whether manipulated by justification elicitation or measured by NC scores, did not reduce the incidence of framing effects. In Study 2, participants responded to both frames of problems in a within-subjects design. Again, NC scores were unrelated to responses on the first frame encountered. However. high-NC, compared to low-NC, participants were more consistent across frames of a problem. More thought, as indexed here, does not reduce the proclivity to be framed, but does promote adherence to normative principles when the applicability of those principles is detectable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-92
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Behavioral Decision Making
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management


  • Choice; need for cognition
  • Decision making
  • Framing effects
  • Justification-provision


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