Metaphors, Framing, Lakoff/Chomsky
In the Metaphor related posts, Mixing Memory discusses the 2 main theories for explaining metaphors, the structural mapping and the attributive categorization theories and leaves the third theory related to cognitive linguistic approaches because of Mixing Memories long-time disagreements with the proponent of that George Lakoff:-)
Lakoff/Chomsky stand out as they believe in things like linguistic framing and how that relates to propaganda and have taken political activism related to the same.
While I will be addressing framing and the cognitive linguistic view of conceptual metaphors in a subsequent post, there is a recent Science Daily article reporting on another type of framing– Framing of economic statements in terms of either gains or losses and thereby by invoking the risk-averse cognitive structures leading to different behavioral outcomes, when game theory and mathematical probabilistic behavior would have predicted a same response. In a nutshell, if questions are framed such that out of 50$ I have, I would either have the option of keeping 20 $ for sure or 40% probability of keeping the whole amount (and 60 % probability of losing the whole amount), then my responses of whether I take the gamble or stay with assured amount would be different if the question was framed as I would lose 30 $ for sure or have a 40% probability of keeping the whole amount. In the latter situation, the mere use of word like ‘lose’ is sufficiently powerful to make one averse to that situation and thus wager for the second option viz. of 40% chance of retaining the whole amount.
This is just one example, but many game theoretic experiments are accumulating evidence that framing is important and has real economic consequences.
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