Frames, anchors, themes – what are they?

I received a comment asking about the difference between themes, anchors and frames.Ball’s book on damages is an excellent source for information about this as is Eric Oliver’s publications.The simplest way of explaining these ideas is this: When we talk about framing we are talking about how we describe an issue. For example a bill to allow clear cut logging might be labeled "the reforestation act" A case might belabeled or framedas "all drivers must obey the law when driving cars" When the Bush administration wanted to pass an exemption for estate taxes they found out people were opposed to allowing any exemption for "inheritance taxes" but when they changed the issue to an exemption from "death taxes" the majority favored the exemption. . That’s framing an issue.Advertising slogans are partly frames. When we talk about a theme we are talking not just about the title you give a case like "the company that put profits over safety." We are talking about the underlying issue that controls the case. For example, if the case involves abortion the underlying driving issue is abortion over all the other facts so the case is presented which puts the issue in the most acceptable position possible. Anchors are what Pavlov did with the dogs. When he made the connection between a bell and food the two were "anchored" together so that the bell without food would produce the same reaction as the bell with food. Avertising involves anchors when a song or a photo or a slogan is repeated over and over.The song or slogan or photo represent the anchor. In trial it means that if we say something significant like "defendant was speeding" and do something unique like hold a red sheet of paper in the right hand, each time we repeat the process in exactly the same way and same place until the red paper becomes an anchor. All you have to do is go to the same place, hold the red paper in the same way and without saying anything the statement will come to the mind of the listener. The paper is an anchor. I hope this helps —–

About Paul Luvera

Plaintiff trial lawyer for 50 years. Past President of the Inner Circle of Advocates & Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. Member American Board of Trial Advocates, American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy, International Society of Barristers, member of the National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame & speaker at Spence Trial College
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.