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Title: Exchange, Private, and Communal Framing of Pensions: Mental Models and Beneficiary Perception Drive Pension Policy Endorsement
Authors: Kuriwaki, Shiro
Advisors: Fiske, Susan
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: Manipulating lay-people’s mental models of pension policy shifts their endorsement of the policy, even if the policy itself does not change at all. Two randomized experiments on a fairly representative U.S. sample framed pension policy using an Exchange (reciprocity) model, a Private (responsibility) model, or a Communal (sharing) model. Combined, the experiments show: (1) The perceived warmth, competence, and deservingness of pension beneficiaries can mediate framing effects on policy preference; (2) Mediation exists when policy “has a face” (i.e., stereotypical beneficiaries accompany the elaboration of the mental model); and (3) Communal frames generally raise policy endorsement notably via increased perceived warmth of beneficiaries, Exchange frames dampen endorsement for people low in future-mindedness, and Private frames raise endorsement indirectly (via increased perceived deservingness) but dampen endorsement directly. The studies’ implications are both theoretical and policy-relevant; they document a process of stereotype-mediated policy feedback and suggest how the three frames shift the policy debate on pension reform in aging societies. Filler
Extent: 126 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2016

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