Studies in psychology have shown that framing effects, where the positive or negative attributes of logically equivalent choices are emphasised, influence people's decisions. When outcomes are uncertain, framing effects also induce patterns of choice reversal, where decisions tend to be risk averse when gains are emphasised and risk seeking when losses are emphasised. Studies of these effects typically use potent framing stimuli, such as the mortality of people suffering from diseases or personal financial standing. We examine whether these effects arise in users' decisions about interface features, which typically have less visceral consequences, using a crowd-sourced study based on snap-to-grid drag-and-drop tasks (n = 842). The study examined several framing conditions: those similar to prior psychological research, and those similar to typical interaction choices (enabling/disabling features). Results indicate that attribute framing strongly influences users' decisions, that these decisions conform to patterns of risk seeking for losses, and that patterns of choice reversal occur.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems