Framing the Basic Income: An Experimental Study of How Arguments and Metaphors Influence Individuals' Opinion Formation

Thomas Legein, Audrey Vandeleene, François Randour, Pauline Heyvaert, Julien Perrez, Min Reuchamps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using an experimental design, this paper tackles the question of the framing impact of metaphors by focusing on the opportunity to implement a basic income (BI) system in a given polity. We take advantage of the preliminary stage of the BI debate in Belgium to study the influence of discursive strategies on the opinion formation process of individuals, since carefully choosing the arguments employed to address this question can help increase its psychological feasibility. Our experiment aims at determining to what extent the confrontation of individuals to metaphors illustrating the BI system impacts the way they apprehend its implementation. We show that very light variations in an informative text can induce major differences in the opinion formation process of the participants. BI proponents should thus pay attention to which metaphors are put forward in the public debate, as this could modify its outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20180010
JournalBasic Income Studies
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • basic income
  • experiment
  • framing
  • metaphors
  • political discourse

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