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Beyond Debate: Impacts of Deliberative Issue Framing on Group Dialogue and Problem Solving

This 2009 report authored by Alison Kadlec and Will Friedman builds on ideas developed in the 2008 publication Reframing Framing by summarizing research that explores the impacts of framing issues for deliberation (in contrast to framing them for persuasion). How one frames an issue can effect the ability and willingness of citizens to productively discuss issues and come to thoughtful judgments. The data suggests that when issues are framed for deliberation:

  • Group discussions tend to be more analytic and less ideological.
  • People tend to spend less time venting about the system and more time asking questions about the problem.
  • They are more willing to confront hard choices rather than settle for pat and easy answers.
  • Their conversation tends more towards seeking solutions and less towards circular, redundant arguments.

Download this paper at www.publicagenda.org/cape. A resource of Public Agenda’s Center for Advances in Public Engagement (CAPE).

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