The Effect of Transparency on Framing Effects in Within-subjects Designs

Balazs Aczel, Aba Szollosi et Bence Bago


A long-lasting assumption about the framing effect is that if the participants discover the purpose of the experiment in a within-subject design, then this test transparency would trigger them to override their initial answer and make coherent choices. For this reason, researchers try to mask the connection between the two parts of the test by inserting filling questions or a time delay between the two parts of the test. In this research, we explored the extent to which these customarily used masking solutions are effective in increasing test sensitivity for the framing effect. In three experiments, we assessed the effect of masking on the tests of the attribute framing and the risky-choice framing effects. Contradicting the general belief, our results indicate that these effects are already measurable without any masking or delay and we found no convincing evidence that the attempts to decrease task transparency provide worthwhile benefits for general tests of the effect. Beyond their practical relevance, the results question whether the test is a good measure of coherence rationality and better suit those accounts that suggest that the two parts of the framing tasks cannot be regarded as identical. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publié dans

Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, vol. 31(1), janvier 2018, p. 25–39