Framing Financial Loses to Conservatives

In a series of nov­el fram­ing experiments, research­ers have shown that our self-iden­ti­fied polit­ic­al lean­ings cor­rel­ate with how we per­ceive fin­an­cial losses.

Hun­dreds of online par­ti­cipants chose between vari­ous flights, com­puters and so on. In each case they could plump for a cheap­er option or a more expens­ive, green­er option, the lat­ter includ­ing either a ‘tax’ to help reduce car­bon emis­sions, or an ‘off­set’ to do the same – depend­ing on how the choice was framed. Wheth­er the expens­ive option was framed as a tax or off­set made no dif­fer­ence to Demo­crat (left-wing) par­ti­cipants. By con­trast, Repub­lic­ans (right-wing) and Inde­pend­ents were much less likely to choose the more expens­ive option when it was labelled as a tax.