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Group Implication in the Laboratory

Group Implication in the Laboratory

(p.47) 4 Group Implication in the Laboratory
Dangerous Frames
University of Chicago Press

The unconscious choice of schema affects the understanding of the issue, and the schema may suggest grounds for evaluation as well. People can draw on a schema far removed from the stimulus at hand if the issue is framed in a way that structures it to be analogous to the relational structure of that schema. When this framing occurs, the feelings and evaluations from people's schemas can be applied to the issue. This chapter explores whether group implication can occur when people are exposed to appropriately structured issue frames. Through a set of carefully constructed experiments (artificial newspaper articles) on three different political issues—grandparent visitation laws, Social Security privatization, and government intervention in the economy—it demonstrates that the right sorts of frames do indeed create group implication. It analyzes nationally representative survey data to show that merely bringing race or gender schemas to mind is not enough to cause group implication. Finally, the chapter demonstrates that certain sorts of frames—those that implicitly invoke race or gender considerations—alter the basis for public opinion.

Keywords:   race, gender, schemas, frames, group implication, public opinion, grandparent visitation laws, Social Security, privatization, government intervention

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