College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-9-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Jerry Cleland, PhD

Second Advisor

Joseph Mikels, PhD

Third Advisor

Jessica Choplin, PhD


The impact of framing and number format on people’s comprehension of and feelings about information they encounter has been documented and replicated (Kühne et al., 2015; Lee et al., 2019, 2021). However, existing research does not extend beyond specific feelings such as anger and fear. The goal of this thesis was to address this gap by broadening the scope of affect from specific emotions to positive and negative affect. This thesis also aimed to extend the line of research to investigate how message frames and numerical formats impact comprehension, feelings, perceived issue seriousness, and judgements by using a 2 (Frame: gain, loss) x 2 (Number format: frequency, percentages) x 3 (Domain: impaired driving, wild species extinction, juvenile crime) mixed factorial design, with frame and number format as between-subjects factors and domain as a within-subjects factor. Frame was found to have the most consistent effect. In terms of comprehension accuracy, participants had greater comprehension accuracy for information presented as a gain relative to a loss. Frame also had an impact and varied depending on how people felt (both positively and negatively) and what domain they evaluated. Number format, similarly, had a significant effect on comprehension accuracy but not on the other dependent variables in the study. The implications are discussed.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons