Framing, defaults, trust
Framing effects and default effects are often seen as examples of inconsistent preferences and are usually explained in purely intrapersonal cognitive terms. We argue that these effects can be explained in rational, social terms, at least in part. First, frames and defaults are usually generated by another social entity (e.g., a speaker, a policymaker). Second, speakers and policymakers tend to select frames and defaults in ways that convey choice-relevant information to decision makers (e.g., listeners). As a result, when listeners respond "inconsistently" to different frames and defaults, it need not indicate inconsistent preferences. In line with this social approach, we show that framing and default effects are decreased (and default effects might even reverse) when the source of a frame or default is distrusted. Viewing framing and default effects from a social, rational perspective leads to a deeper understanding of these phenomena and suggests novel predictions about when they will and will not occur outside the laboratory.