Framing: How Politicians Debate
About this courseSkip About this course
Is a good, solid argument enough to make an impact? How would you disprove the stance that man-made global warming is just an “opinion”? How would you explain your opinion on school tests, budget cuts, crime, immigration, safety and security issues? No doubt that your persuasiveness relies on your arguments. But your ability to influence and convince critically depends on the way you frame your message.
In today’s world, you often need to reduce a complex reality to a concise and convincing message. Framing is an approach that deals with the way we convey our message: our words, images, and metaphors. To take one basic characteristic, a good frame engages the listeners’ values and emotions – it is easy to remember and it is something that people will usually agree with intuitively.
When you enter into a debate, you might be faced with frames of your opponents – and you will have to reframe the debate. This game of framing and reframing makes the debate to look like a chessboard made out of words. Of course, politicians play this game, trying to pull the debate towards their own words and metaphors in order to win their audience. But the game can be found everywhere: in the world of business, science, media – even at home.
We invite you to join our journey of learning the game of framing and reframing. You will discover how this game is played, and how you can play it yourself.
This course suits people who are engaged with and interested in public and political debates. Not only people from the public sector will find it useful, but also engineers, consultants, managers and anyone who wants to make an impact in discussions and debates.
The course materials of this course are Copyright Delft University of Technology and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA) 4.0 International License.
Credits banner Photo Obama by NASA CC BY-NC Photo Thatcher by British Wallpaper CC BY-NC-SA
At a glance
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
Practically, we will:
- Teach you the underlying patterns of the framing game, using simple and powerful models.
- Show you many recent examples of framing games, by analyzing videos of politicians playing the game of framing and reframing.
- Use professional actors to show practical examples of framing.
- Cover a large variety of policy areas.
- Discuss the moral aspects of framing. Is framing morally wrong?
- Give you the possibility to share videos with examples of frames from public debates of your country.
- Ask you to design, evaluate and analyze frames, in a way that will spark your creativity.
Episode 1 What is a frame?
Episode 2 What is the impact of a frame?
Episode 3: Victims, villains and heroes
Episode 4: The 3P Model: Policy, Principle, Personality
Episode 5: Playing with the downsides of your opponents’ values
Episode 6: Hijacking your opponents’ values
Intermezzo about speeching: Episode 7: speaking like Obama
Episode 8: Playing with competing perspectives
Episode 9: Meta-framing
Episode 10: The moral aspects of framing
Episode 11: Sharing and transcending a dilemma
Episode 12: Creating a monopoly of emotion