Working Psychology: Understanding the Art of Framing

Published 19 Aug 2017

Based from my understanding, I believe that two kinds of frames were used or can be inferred from the situation. The first one was a little obvious: the salesman was using the contrast frame against Milhouse. By shifting the attention of my co-worker (Milhouse) from the original price of the product to a more refined version of the price of the product, the salesman was able to change his decision-making abilities and had exactly set it for him himself. In other words, the salesman made my co-worker see the product not as the product itself (with its original price and discretionary nature) but as something more irrelevant and inexpensive (in this case, a can of soda). As a result, Milhouse perceived the situation as a win-win situation (Imperative for the Company vs. The price of a can of soda daily) rather than a lose-lose situation (Unnecessary Purchase vs. Expensive).

On the other hand, viewing or interpreting the situation from a different point of view, we can infer that it was Milhouse himself who have set the supposed framing of the events. If we consider the assumption that Milhouse is someone who’s of prime importance (i.e. High Position) with regards to the Company, then Milhouse’s initial mode of thinking even before hearing the pitch of the salesman would be the frame of [To Buy vs. To not Buy]. Eventually, Milhouse suddenly allowed his mind to slip from the latter frame to the frame of [Imperative for the Company vs. Cost] (whether or not the salesman was the cause for this sudden shift of thinking would be really hard to determine).Weighing the situation in terms of cost over the efficiency of the Company, then the latter would definitely win as opposed to the former. Assuming that Milhouse was indeed a person of high position within the Company, thinking in terms of the Company’s well-being over the price (monetary) of achieving the latter would be imperative. Thus, we can conclude that Milhouse did use or rather was the victim of reframe.

The usage of a different frame on both of the actor’s part (Milhouse and the Salesman) would be very unlikely because given the analysis above; we can determine that both actors used two different frames that somehow became synonymous with each other. However, if I, Milhouse’s co-worker, interfered with the negotiation, different events could’ve transpired. I could’ve used a similar or different frame against both actors that could’ve resulted into either Milhouse not buying the product or the Salesman providing a discount or probably presenting a different kind of product in order to revise his framing technique.

Framing, as taken from the source provided, can either be used for good or for evil. Framing leads to influence. This influence leads to total or partial manipulation. And manipulation (in any context) leads to power. Since the concept of accumulating power (in any form) can somehow be determined as inherent within human beings, we cannot deny the fact that that the Art of Framing will be used undeniably by people who craves for power. As such, it will be our responsibility to either resist or counter this act of Framing imposed upon us and to others.

Morality cannot be put into consideration since alleged framers could clearly defend themselves by stating that they were merely playing with words and the end result of the opposing actor’s decision was his or her decisions and actions alone. To frame others is to understand that the success of the act lies in probabilities or chances. If a person is to fall under the influence of framing, the person committing the act cannot be considered responsible. This is so because the person being imposed by a framer had the ability to be rational – not using this ability and falling prey upon the imposition is the fault of the person and not the framer.

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