Does persuasion with positive framing really work? At the least, society and at the worst, our parents programmed our brains to focus on the negative way. We have been programmed to think or believe that emphasizing the negative will magically protect us from harm.
Framing Since Childhood
As kids we were told not to run out in the street or we would get hit by a car. Don’t play with matches or we would get burned.
Move ahead a decade and as teens we were told not to wreck the car before we left. It was as if that magical statement would somehow prevent us from getting in an accident. Come to think of it, the first time ever being in an accident may have been because my mother failed to tell my sister not to get in an accident.
Time passed and our parents became government officials. The same thinking started appearing everywhere. Warning signs on cigarette packages about how they will harm your health. We even have fun with our negativism. In the hospital ER, motorcycles are called organ donor cycles.
We have a culture of nagging on the negative.
The only problem...it does not work.
How many times has a smoker picked up a packet of cigs and read the warning label. How many have said that based on this label they should, no will stop smoking?
Persuasion With Positive Framing: A More Persuasive Way
Positive framing is more persuasive than negative nagging. Consider two different ways to the same result...
Mom wants her children to eat certain healthy foods.
Negative Message: Eat your vegetables or you will be weak and sickly.
Positive Message: Using framing a mom can say, remember how that circus performer was able to hang from the trapeze holding on with her teeth? Do you still want to be like her? Then you need to eat the same foods she eats to be strong like her.
Understanding Framing: You have no doubt heard of an innocent person being framed as guilty of a crime.
Framing helps people to mentally see or interpret information within their own life experience.
Framing creates a context within something that allows understanding of the statement.
Consider a man who has a challenge with losing his temper. He truly loves his wife and children. A person who loves his wife and children will not lose their temper with loved ones. Therefor, framing the next statement in view of this statement, it could be said that it is not like him to lose his temper with his loved ones.
So, what does research show. Is it better to threaten people or compliment them into the conduct that reflects their highest values.
Studies show that people tend to listen and react more often to negatively framed statements.
Although it is controversial, research seems to show that messages that are negative tend to get peoples attention faster. This even applies to subliminal messages. This is why we are subjected to the political mud slinging every time there is an election.
But not all messages are created equal. Looking at the messages and effects revealed something interesting when it comes to specific health related topics and issues.
Messages framed for the positive and that deal with health management tend to be more effective.
Those who have used it also find that it works well in other people management situations.
How to Frame Positively
Start by finding an honest and sincere truthful positive premise.
When public speaking, look for opportunities to promote the positive.
Compliment when and where you can.
When wanting more of what people are doing right, compliment them into the actions that you want.
Start using persuasion with positive framing and watch your persuasion effectiveness improve.