A neuroimaging investigation of attribute framing and individual differences

Kevin B. Murch, Daniel C. Krawczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to evaluate the neural basis of framing effects. We tested the reflexive and reflective systems model of social cognition as it relates to framing. We also examined the relationships among frame susceptibility, intelligence and personality measures. Participants evaluated whether personal attributes applied to themselves from multiple perspectives and in positive and negative frames. Participants rated whether each statement was descriptive or not and endorsed positive frames more than negative frames. Individual differences on frame decisions enabled us to form high and low frame susceptibility groups. Endorsement of frame-consistent attributes was associated with personality factors, cognitive reflection and intelligence. Reflexive brain regions were associated with positive frames while reflective areas were associated with negative frames. Region of Interest analyses showed that frame-inconsistent responses were associated with increased activation within reflective cognitive control regions including the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), dorsomedial PFC and left ventrolateral PFC. Frame-consistent responses were associated with increased activation in the right orbitofrontal cortex. These results demonstrate that individual differences in frame susceptibility influence personal attribute evaluations. Overall, this study clarifies the neural correlates of the reflective and reflexive systems of social cognition as applied to decisions about social attributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1464-1471
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Decision making
  • FMRI
  • Framing effects
  • Individual differences
  • Rationality
  • Social evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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