Framing Matters When It Comes to Security Compliance

By Sherry Harowitz

The picture Going to Prayers by famed photographer Alfred Stieglitz shows two women seemingly headed to a church across a field. Another version, titled Scurrying Home, reveals that the women’s true destination, just beyond the church, was cropped out of the other photo. In framing the first scene as he did, Stieglitz controlled the message.

That framing was literal, but issues can be framed conceptually to great effect as well.

Duke University Professor Dan Ariely has been studying how doctors might use framing to get patients to follow directions. The same patients who fail to take pills according to their doctor’s orders will adhere to a schedule for their herbal supplements, say physicians. That raises the question, “What gets people to want to be compliant?” notes Ariely in a Harvard Review Ideacast.

The question has obvious implications for security professionals.

(To finish reading March's Editor's Note, "You Can Frame Security's Image," please click here.)

♦ Photo by Paul Keller/Flickr


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