We are delighted to welcome Denise Falchetti from NYU on the 21st of March from 12:30-14:00 in room PC04
Title: Overcoming the Liability of Novelty: The Power of Framing
Abstract: When is novelty more likely to elicit a favorable evaluation? Building on social psychology research, which shows that mental construals influence evaluation and decision-making, we argue that the appeal of novel ideas and the willingness to invest in them vary with the mental processes through which audiences evaluate them. We conducted a series of experiments to study how different levels of mental construals shift the evaluation outcomes. Our findings show that evaluators appreciate more (i.e., like more and are more willing to invest in) highly novel ideas when those ideas are framed in concrete “How” terms; whereas the evaluator’s appreciation of incremental ideas increases with abstract “Why” framing. That is, which type of linguistic framing is more or less effective depends on the degree of novelty (high vs. low) of those ideas. Also, we find that when novelty is framed in “How” terms evaluators prefer more novel ideas over incremental ones, but when novelty is framed in “Why” terms this difference disappears, suggesting that an abstract framing decreases the appeal gap between the more novel and the less novel ideas. Finally, we unpack the underlying cognitive process by providing evidence of the mediating role of perceived usefulness. Focusing on the framing of novel ideas and marrying it with construal level theory offers a number of contributions to research on innovation and entrepreneurship and, more generally, social evaluation. In particular, we generate insights into how innovators can deploy linguistic strategies to shape audiences’ perceptions of their novelty claims.