October 27Spiral of Silence Theory

October 27Spiral of Silence Theory - Spiral of Silence...

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Spiral of Silence Theory Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann’s Spiral of Silence theory offers an explanation of how public opinion is formed. According to Noelle-Neumann: Public opinion is “the dominating opinion which compels compliance of attitude and behavior in that it threatens the dissenting individual with isolation” (1974, p.44) Or, public opinion consists of “those attitudes one can express without running the danger of isolation oneself” The human tendency to conformity is the engine that drives public opinion and the “spiral of silence.” Noelle-Neumann believes that to “the individual, not isolating himself is more important that his own judegement” (1974, p. 43) Noelle-Neumann draws heavily from the conformity research of psychologists Stanly Milgram and Soloman Asch: In individual perceieve their opinion as in minority, they will generally silence that opinion in order to conform to the majority. Key point: public opinion does not appear fully formed – there is a power dynamic involved.
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October 27Spiral of Silence Theory - Spiral of Silence...

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