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Fines, Frames, and Images: Examining Formulation Effects on Punishment Decisions
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
  • Kenneth J. Dunegan, Cleveland State University
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Two laboratory experiments examine how punishment decisions are influenced by formulation effects. Results indicate the fines levied by disciplinary agents for deceptive advertising practices were significantly biased by objectively equivalent information framed in a positive or negative way. Specifically, negative framing produced fines that were 44 to 120% larger, depending on whether the offending party was listed as an individual or an organization. Results also indicate framing influenced perceptions of image compatibility, a measure derived from Beach and Mitchell's Image Theory (1990, 1996), and that differences in image compatibility correlated with differences in fines. The more incompatible a decision maker's image of the offending party, the higher the fine. Image theory is then discussed as a potential instrument for enhancing our understanding of framing and formulation effects.
Citation Information
Dunegan, K. J. (1996). Fines, frames, and images: examining formulation effects on punishment decisions. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 68, 1, 58-67. doi:10.1006/obhd.1996.0089