In their new article, Dr. Bullock and Dr. Vedlitz explore the moderating role perceived knowledge plays in influencing emphasis framing. Using data from an experiment embedded in the National Energy Policy Survey conducted by the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy (ISTPP) in 2012, the authors use multivariate analysis of probit and ordered probit models to test whether an emphasis frame influences policy support. The test for framing effect is based on the name given in the embedded experimental vignette to a procedure used to extract natural gas from shale – either hydraulic fracturing or fracking. The researchers then evaluate the degree to which perceived knowledge of the issue moderates the relationship between the emphasis frame and support for hydraulic fracturing. Perceived knowledge is based on how much each respondent reports having heard about hydraulic fracturing or fracking. The dependent variable of policy support is based on responses to a question about whether respondents would support or oppose hydraulic fracturing or fracking in their local community.
Bullock and Vedlitz find support both for the role emphasis framing plays and for perceived knowledge as a moderator. In particular, they consistently find statistical support suggesting those who report having a lot of knowledge or awareness about hydraulic fracturing are influenced by the naming emphasis frame.
Bullock, Justin B. and Arnold Vedlitz. 2017. “Emphasis Framing and the Role of Perceived Knowledge: A Survey Experiment.” Review of Policy Research. DOI: 10.1111/ropr.12231
Dr. Justin Bullock is an assistant professor in the Bush School and an ISTPP Research Fellow.
Dr. Arnold Vedlitz is a professor and holder of the Bob Bullock Chair in Government and Public Policy in the Bush School as well as Director Emeritus and Distinguished Research Scholar for ISTPP.