Interpretive frame approach


Use for

Exploring (and ultimately creating) the scope for innovative definitions and solutions for a problem.


The interpretative frame approach is based on the idea that in a specific situation an actor (person) formulates problems and preferred solutions on the basis of more general underlying notions.

What do you do?

You conduct structured interviews to identify different levels in other people's convictions or views. In the process, you make a distinction between first and second-order views. First-order views relate to how the individual looks at a problem and possible solutions, for example in terms of costs, effects, side-effects and opportunities. The second-order views concern the individual's underlying perceptions, ideas and values. You discover these by persistently asking why they adopt these definitions and solutions for problems.

A related method is that of the Cognition model. 


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More information

Grin, J en H. van de Graaf, en R. Hoppe (1997). Interactieve Technology Assessment. A guide. Rathenau Instituut:  Den Haag: SDU W57. chapter 3 and section 5.5.

Loeber, A. (2004). Method and practice of Interactive Technology Assessment. Learning from a Dutch analytic experiment on sustainable crop protection. Paper presented at the Joint 4S / EASST Conference, Paris, 25th - 28th August.

Used by

Among others: John Grin, UvA: