Hostname: page-component-6b989bf9dc-mbg9n Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-13T09:11:24.829Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Framing is a motivated process

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 October 2022

George Ainslie*
Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Coatesville, PA 19320, USA


Frames group choices into categories, thus modifying the incentives for them. This effect makes framing itself a motivated choice rather than a neutral cognition. In particular, framing an inferior choice with a high short-term payoff as part of a broad category of choices recruits incentive to reject it; but this must be motivated by its being a test case.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Ainslie, G. (1975). Specious reward: A behavioral theory of impulsiveness and impulse control. Psychological Bulletin, 82, 463496. ScholarPubMed
Ainslie, G. (1992). Picoeconomics: The strategic interaction of successive motivational states within the person. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Ainslie, G. (2001). Breakdown of will. Cambridge University Press. Scholar
Ainslie, G. (2013). Grasping the impalpable: The role of endogenous reward in choices, including process addictions. Inquiry, 56, 446469. Scholar
Ainslie, G. (2017). De gustibus disputare: Hyperbolic delay discounting integrates five approaches to choice. Journal of Economic Methodology, 24(2), 166189. Scholar
Ainslie, G. (2021). Willpower with and without effort. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 44, e30. ScholarPubMed
Ainslie, G. (in press). The behavioral construction of the future. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.Google Scholar
Dell, P. F. (2009). Understanding dissociation. In Dell, P. F. & O'Neil, J. A. (Eds.), Dissociation and the dissociative disorders: DSM-V and beyond (pp. 709825). Routledge.Google Scholar
Fujita, K. (2011). On conceptualizing self-control as more than the effortful inhibition of impulses. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 15, 352366. Scholar
Gilead, M., Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2020). Above and beyond the concrete: The diverse representational substrates of the predictive brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 43, e121, 174. doi: 10.1017/s0140525x19002000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mischel, W. (2014). The marshmallow test: Understanding self-control and how to master it. Bantam.Google Scholar
Montague, P. R., & Berns, G. S. (2002). Neural economics and the biological substrates of valuation. Neuron, 36, 265284. ScholarPubMed
Rachlin, H. (1995). Self-control: Beyond commitment. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 18, 109159. Scholar
Rachlin, H. (2016). Self-control based on soft commitment. The Behavior Analyst, 3, 259268. Scholar
Read, D., Lowenstein, G., & Rabin, M. (1999). Choice bracketing. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 19(1), 171197. Scholar
Redish, A. D. (2016). Vicarious trial and error. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 17, 147159. ScholarPubMed
Shizgal, P., & Conover, K. (1996). On the neural computation of utility. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 5, 3743. Scholar
Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2010). Construal-level theory of psychological distance. Psychological Review, 117, 440463. ScholarPubMed