In a great many circumstances, persuaders have a choice about how to cast their

discussion of the consequences of the policy or course of action that they recommend. On

the one hand, the persuader can emphasize the desirable aspects of following his or her

recommended course of action-the gains associated with compliance, the advantages of

adopting the communicator’s proposal, and so on. On the other hand, the persuader can

underscore the undesirable aspects of not following the recommended policy-the

disadvantages of failing to adopt the suggested course of action, the losses or undesirable

outcomes associated with noncompliance, and so forth. That is, a message’s contents can

be framed in two basic ways: a positive (“gain”) frame that emphasizes the advantages of

Correspondence: Daniel J.O’Keefe, Department of Communication Studies, Frances

Searle Building, Northwestern University, 2240 N. Campus Drive, Evanston, IL

60208-3545; email: d-okeefe@northwestern.edu

Communication Yearbook 30, pp. 1-43

compliance or a negative (“loss”) frame that emphasizes the disadvantages of