Frames and Games


Decision-makers are sometimes influenced by the way in which choice situations are presented to them or "framed." This can be seen as an important challenge to the social sciences, since strong and pervasive framing effects would make it difficult to study human behavior in a synthetic or theoretic manner. We present results from experiments with dilemma games designed to shed light on the effects of several frame variations. We study, among others, the particular public bad frame used by Andreoni (1995) and two more naturalistic frames involving stories. Our results show that none of the frame manipulations have a significant effect on average behavior, but we do find some effects on extreme behavior. We also find that incentives do matter where frames do not matter.