Frame Dependence

DEFINITION of 'Frame Dependence'

The human tendency to view a scenario differently depending on how it is presented. Frame dependence is based on emotion, not logic, and can explain why people sometimes make irrational choices. For example, when presented with a scenario in which a sweater is being offered at its full price of $50 and a scenario in which the same sweater is regularly priced at $75 but on sale for $50, many consumers would perceive the latter as a better value even though in both situations they are being asked to pay the same price for the same sweater. Thus a real-life application of frame dependence is the use of strategic pricing by retail stores to influence consumers' purchasing behavior.

BREAKING DOWN 'Frame Dependence'

Frame dependence is one component of psychologist Daniel Kahneman's Nobel Prize-winning prospect theory, a major contribution to behavioral economics. Along with co-researcher Amos Tversky, Kahneman showed several cognitive biases that cause people to make irrational decisions, including the anchoring effect, loss aversion, mental accounting, the planning fallacy and the illusion of control.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Daniel Kahneman

    A professor emeritus of psychology and public affairs at Princeton ...
  2. Behavioral Finance

    A field of finance that proposes psychology-based theories to ...
  3. Anchoring

    The use of irrelevant information as a reference for evaluating ...
  4. Prospect Theory

    A theory that people value gains and losses differently and, ...
  5. Mental Accounting

    An economic concept established by economist Richard Thaler, ...
  6. Behaviorist

    1. One who accepts or assumes the theory of behaviorism (behavioral ...
Related Articles
  1. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Why Rational Ignorance About Your Investments Might Really Be OK

    It's impossible to know everything about the markets. Find out how ignorance affects your investments.
  2. Personal Finance

    Take the "Dope" Out of Your Finances

    The activity of the brain chemical dopamine can help make sense of our irrational financial decisions. Here's how to outsmart it.
  3. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Understanding Investor Behavior

    Discover how some strange human tendencies can play out in the market, posing the question: are we really rational?
  4. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Mad Money ... Mad Market?

    Jim Cramer's spirited recommendations are a case study in irrational market behavior.
  5. Investing

    3 Healthy Financial Habits for 2016

    ”Winning” investors don't just set it and forget it. They consistently take steps to adapt their investment plan in the face of changing markets.
  6. Investing

    How to Ballast a Portfolio with Bonds

    If January and early February performance is any guide, there’s a new normal in financial markets today: Heightened volatility.
  7. Economics

    The Truth about Productivity

    Why has labor market productivity slowed sharply around the world in recent years? One of the greatest economic mysteries out there.
  8. Term

    How Market Segments Work

    A market segment is a group of people who share similar qualities.
  9. Active Trading

    Market Efficiency Basics

    Market efficiency theory states that a stock’s price will fully reflect all available and relevant information at any given time.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    5 Basic Financial Ratios And What They Reveal

    Understanding financial ratios can help investors pick strong stocks and build wealth. Here are five to know.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is finance?

    "Finance" is a broad term that describes two related activities: the study of how money is managed and the actual process ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between positive and normative economics?

    Positive economics is objective and fact based, while normative economics is subjective and value based. Positive economic ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How can I use a regression to see the correlation between prices and interest rates?

    In statistics, regression analysis is a widely used technique to uncover relationships among variables and determine whether ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do I calculate the rule of 72 using Matlab?

    In finance, the rule of 72 is a useful shortcut to assess how long it takes an investment to double given its annual growth ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do I calculate a modified duration using Matlab?

    The modified duration gauges the sensitivity of the fixed income securities to changes in interest rates. To calculate the ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Short Selling

    Short selling is the sale of a security that is not owned by the seller, or that the seller has borrowed. Short selling is ...
  2. Harry Potter Stock Index

    A collection of stocks from companies related to the "Harry Potter" series franchise. Created by StockPickr, this index seeks ...
  3. Liquidation Margin

    Liquidation margin refers to the value of all of the equity positions in a margin account. If an investor or trader holds ...
  4. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  5. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  6. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
Trading Center