The FrameWorks Institute is a nonprofit research organization that helps mission-driven organizations build public will for progressive change.
We use rigorous social science methods to study how people understand social issues. We develop evidence-based techniques that help researchers, advocates, and practitioners explain those issues more effectively. Since 1999 we have researched public understanding of a range of issues, including racial and economic justice, child and adolescent development, healthy equity, climate change, immigration, justice reform, and education.
Our staff—a multidisciplinary team of social scientists and communications professionals—uses empirical research to investigate patterns in public thinking about social issues and how frames can be used to shift them. We collaborate with advocates, researchers, practitioners, and service providers to help them build support for progressive policy goals. Our research database is one of the world’s largest on the communications aspects of social issues; it includes more than 500,000 cases on how people think about the world and their place in it.
We have pioneered a one-of-a-kind approach to communications—Strategic Frame Analysis®—that is grounded in theories and methods used across the social and cognitive sciences to measure how humans understand complex, abstract socio-political issues and how communicators can frame these issues to improve outcomes. Our work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and is used widely in various forums, ranging from the National Academy of Sciences to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
In 2015, we received a MacArthur Foundation’s Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.