A project sponsored by the Austrian Science Fund FWF has made a detailed investigation on what viewers understand and how they evaluate the statements of politicians during televised debates. To this effect, software-assisted conversation analysis established how the individual social knowledge of viewers nurtures the interpretations – and reinterpretations – of political statements. For the first time, the roles played by differing interpretive frames in our comprehension of political reality were able to be assessed realistically and in detail.
The Frame Project investigates fundamental processes of understanding and alignment in public opinion formation. Effects of political rhetoric depend on how it is understood and reacted to by audiences