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Doherty, David, Dana Garbarski, and Pablo Guzman Rivera. 2023. “Null Effects of Framing Welcoming Ordinances.” Survey Practice 16 (1). https://doi.org/10.29115/SP-2023-0002.
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  • Figure 1. Treatment Effects by Demographic Groups.
  • Figure 2. Treatment Effects by Party ID and Crime Perceptions.
  • Figure 3. Distribution of Estimated Treatment Effects (includes all estimates reported in Figures 1 and 2, as well as estimates of differences between the two treatments).


A substantial body of published work finds that seemingly trivial changes in question wording or the way an issue is framed can substantially affect the attitudes people report on surveys. We report findings from a survey of Cook County residents where seemingly strong issue framing treatments that varied the stated purpose of welcoming ordinance provisions failed to affect reported attitudes. We find no effect in the aggregate, nor do we find effects among demographic or other seemingly relevant subgroups. The findings illustrate the important but often overlooked fact that varying how an issue is framed does not always affect reported attitudes.

Accepted: February 02, 2023 EDT