Premises of Frame


1. Framing is the act of selling a perspective by bringing attention to some contextual details which are—presumably—generally representative, and downplaying others which are not.
2. All symbolic communication is framing. (This is a “strong” version of the theory.)
3. Symbolic communication is the intentional activation of mirror neurons in another person’s brain in order to transmit associations between ideas.
4. Humans are sociopolitical primates who use Frame to compete for resources from the commonweal: particularly mates, wealth, and sociopolitical control. (This is a result of economic specialization.)

Some existing special cases of Frame are Game, sales, and propaganda.

A “good” frame is one that fits reality best using as few details as possible. Emphasizing non-representative details is some form of pretension: either incompetence, deception, insincerity, or ignorance. The difference in these is purely a matter of the framer’s character and disposition toward their subject. This is a primitive definition; it is possible for a good perspective to be transmitted via pretense if the falsehood is obvious, as in comedy, fairy tales, and proof by contradiction.

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23 Responses to Premises of Frame

  1. Framing is the directed weighting of factors in the scene. Basically – whose story is the strongest?

    Frame A: what a bunch of nice flowers!

    Frame B: look at the elephant romping through that field!

    Frame C: it’s day-time.

    Frame D (on drugs): whoa, pink elephants…

    There is cognitive framing, which we call ideology. There is limbic framing, which is more tied to mammalian roles (“I’m the dominant one of the group, you should trust/like/fear me”). If you can do both, you can be President.

    Actually, RA Wilson describes it much better in “Prometheus Rising”.

  2. Heaviside says:

    Frame is not about details, but abstractions.

    Benefits > Features

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I have no trouble believing that values shapes salience shapes perceptions, but I’m not sure that’s what you’re talking about.

      • Heaviside says:

        “Abstraction” comes from the Greek aphairesis which originally meant “taking away” or “removing” as in removing the excess matter in sculpting a statue. In the statue a form or figure of an animal or man becomes recognizable as a result of this removal. In being known things become intelligible only by a removal of them in the mind from a different type of matter,”

        You remove unpleasant details so that people only see what they want to see.

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