1. The loophole of communication
The only step ahead that humans have, in comparison to animals, is communication. Of which the basis can be found in cooperation. Our desire to help one and other without personal gain in the short term is what sets us apart from animals, proclaims Tomasello. He states that communication can be divided into three groups, namely; requesting, informing and sharing. But these three function of communication only work when the common ground between human communicators is solid. “Indeed, this is what motivates them in the first place−they both assume mutually that it will be to their individual and mutual benefit to do so” (Tomasello, 2010). Thus, when the speaker wishes to tell something he makes sure that the receivers is aware of his attempt to communicate and the possible benefits that will follow.
But who benefits the most? Taillard states communication is a two-fold. “To the audience, it is a means of acquiring relevant information; to the communicator, it is a means of affecting the beliefs and other attitudes of the audience” (2004). Because of this the speaker has the possibility to give false, coloured or partial information, which means that the information may not beneficial for the receivers. Nevertheless, the information will be obtained by the audience.
This is because to obtain information concerning several subjects in life is essential. Due to limited time is it impossible to experience everything firsthand. Communication is therefore often “a more efficient means than direct perception, sometimes the only means, to obtain relevant information” (Taillard, 2004). Thus, we need the two functions, informing and sharing, to learn about life and therefore thrust the speaker based upon our common ground. This thrust goes often so far that we forget how we received certain information (Taillard, 2004).
It is this thrust that has the potential to make communication beneficial for the speaker. The audience desire to retain information concerning subjects in a safe way, leads them into the trap of manipulation. It is therefore that the receivers already start learning at a young age to defend themselves against this possibility (Sperber 2009). This defence mechanism makes it very important for the speaker to be subtle so that he may not be ousted as a liar. Especially within politics, deceivers will lose their good standing and their careers when they are discovered. Politics nowadays requires, consequently, new subtle ways to influences people to receive votes and support. Framing is one of these new tactics that makes this possible.
My aim in this paper is therefore to show that politicians use framing within politics, typically and often successfully, by exploiting the mechanisms by which information spreads among people, in order to fulfil their intentions. I will therefore firstly further explain Tomasello’s theory concerning communication and cooperation. Secondly, I will explain what framing...