The effects of metaphorical frames on attitudes: The Euro crisis as war or disease?

Willem Joris, Leen d’Haenens and Baldwin Van Gorp


Previous research has identified the frames and metaphors used in the reporting on the Euro crisis. War and disease turned out to be the two most frequently used metaphorical frames. Since coverage of the current financial crisis may have a tangible effect on public opinion, research into the effects of metaphorical frames on attitudes is needed. By employing two survey experiments, a student sample (N = 259) and a nonstudent sample (N = 507), this article traces the effects of both metaphorical frames. Our results show that individuals take over the metaphorical frame elements in their evaluation of the Euro crisis. Participants in the war conditions significantly more often referred to war when answering the open questions. Alternatively, when the Euro crisis was framed as a disease, participants were more likely to use words and sentences containing disease frame elements.

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The European Journal of Communication Research is an established forum for scholarship and academic debate in the field of communication science and research from a European perspective. Communications highlights the concerns of communication science through the publication of articles, research reports, review essays and book reviews on theoretical and methodological developments considered from a European perspective.