Political framing across disciplines: Evidence from 21st-century experiments

Britta C. Brugman*, Christian Burgers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Twenty-five years after Entman (1993) argued that the framing paradigm was fractured, debates about the value of framing as a theoretical concept are still ongoing. In particular, discussions focus on the use of: (a) equivalence frames (i.e., frames with logical equivalence such as gain and loss frames) versus emphasis frames (i.e., frames that emphasize different dimensions of an issue); and (b) generic frames (frames that are applicable to multiple issues) versus issue-specific frames (frames that are applicable to one issue only). We conducted a systematic review on the use of these frame types in 21st-century political-framing experiments (N = 372) to establish whether and how scholars’ positions in these debates have changed across disciplines and over time. Results demonstrate that emphasis frames are more popular than equivalence frames, and that a slight majority of frames are issue-specific rather than generic. Moreover, frame preferences differ across disciplines and have hardly changed over time. This study thus shows that debates about what types of frames should be studied have had little influence on scholars’ frame choices across disciplines in previous research on political framing.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalResearch & Politics
Issue number2
Early online date26 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • experiment
  • Framing
  • political communication
  • political psychology
  • systematic review


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