Edit: Sorry this is so long!
Framing is a term I ran into when reading about pickup artists. It describes what I think is a really fascinating phenomenon, which is whose worldview dominates the interaction.
Framing in Dating
To illustrate in the dating world, imagine you go up to a good looking guy or girl. They start talking about something (anything, trains) and you try to see what they're talking about. You listen and maybe compliment them a little, and try to navigate THEIR world. Now imagine approaching someone you find annoying. If forced to talk with them, you'll be more likely to settle back and let them discover YOUR world. You might make less of an effort to see things from their point of view. You're less invested.
Example from random pickup site:
She says: "If you behave, I'll let you buy me a drink."
You counter with: "Are you too poor to buy your own?"
You lose the frame by saying: "Then I'll make sure I don't behave."
She says: "Like in the Kama Sutra or in the book Art of Making Love by Jane Lawry, the goal should be to orgasm from the mind."
You counter with: "Do you usually orgasm from the hand?"
You lose with: "I like that you read books."
You can see that the "lose with" is submissive and playing in the person's worldview. The "counter" challenges them and their view and pulls it back in your favor.
Framing in Debates
You see the exact same things in debate, and I see it all the time in law. A conflict arises and one party goes on the offensive, saying "these are the facts and this is correct." The other side can counter by going on the offensive - challenging the frame - or by going on the defensive - conceding the frame. Most of the time, there's some combination. Weak framers will concede points and try to appease, while strong framers will stay rigid. The Obama/McCain debate is a great example. McCain ignores, impresses his interpretation, dismisses, and doesn't concede. Obama, in contrast, makes concessions, compliments, acknowledges, etc. You can kinda tell who the strong and weak framers on this site are, too.
Framing in Politics
A lot of political rhetoric deals with framing. The current middle east conflict is a great example. Each side wants to push their view of the situation as furtherest as possible in hopes of shaping the other's view and understanding. Neither side wants to acknowledge the way the other side sees things, because it involves the risk of losing the frame (and losing one's voice).
Framing in Other Situations
The topic comes up in a lot of other areas when you think about it. Negotiation is all about framing and trying to submit the other person. Disputes with significant others, as well.
It would seem to me that what's going on here is a contest for dominance. So, any time we have conflict, we would expect to see some type of framing activity. I'd like to explore the topic a little more, but especially with respect to dominance and what factors give people strong frames. Also, what factors lead a person to surrender a frame? Here's the big question: What rules can we come up with to predict who will win/protect and lose/abandon a frame?
1. Dominant individuals will always win the frame. (Imagine talking to Bill Gates. Imagine talking to a homeless person.)
2. Individuals will protect their frame when it is tied up with their identity. (If you think of yourself as good at political analysis, you will hold your frame.)
3. Individuals will protect their frame in the face of physical threat. (Political conflicts)
4. Individuals will protect their frame when confronted with opinions of someone they don't trust as accurate. (In a debate with someone you think doesn't know wtf they're talking about, you will resist seeing the world their way.)
1. Submissive individuals will always lose frames.
2. Individuals will abandon their frame during surges of empathy. (Talking to someone in grief, you will jump to see the world their way.)