Spiral of silence communication theory

The Hypodermic Needle Theory no longer carries the respect it once did since its accuracy was found to be questionable. Muted Group Theory Muted Group Theory states that because language is man-made women remain reduced and excluded. Because words and norms have been created by men, women are disadvantaged in public. As women become less muted and more vocal, the dominant position of males in society will diminish.

Spiral of silence communication theory

This is when public perceptions of the opinion climate begin to shift. As the opinion gains momentum by the majority, the minority continues to be threatened and falls deeper into their silence. It continues until the minority no longer speaks out against it, and the opinion of the perceived majority ultimately becomes a social norm.

The end of the spiral refers to the number of people who are not publicly expressing their opinions, due to the fear of isolation. An individual is more likely to go down the spiral if his or her opinion does not conform with the perceived majority opinion. We can distinguish between fields where the opinions and attitudes involved are static, and fields where those opinions and attitudes are subject to changes Where opinions are relatively definite and static — for example, "customs" — one has to express or act according to this opinion in public or run the risk of becoming isolated.

In contrast, where opinions are in flux, or disputed, the individual will try to find out which opinion he can express without becoming isolated. Individuals who, when observing their environments, notice that their own personal opinion is spreading and is taken over by others, will voice this opinion self-confidently in public.

On the other hand, individuals who notice that their own opinions are losing ground will be inclined to adopt a more reserved attitude when expressing their opinions in public.

It follows from this that, as the representatives of the first opinion talk quite a lot while the representatives of the second opinion remain silent, there is a definite influence on the environment: The result is a spiral process which prompts other individuals to perceive the changes in opinion and follow suit, until one opinion has become established as the prevailing attitude while the other opinion will be pushed back and rejected by everybody with the exception of the hard core that nevertheless sticks to that opinion.

The tendency of the one to speak up and the other to be silent starts off a spiraling process which increasingly establishes one opinion as the dominant one. Over time, these changing perceptions establish one opinion as predominant one and they change from the liquid state to a solid norm.

The use of " public " and "the public" betrays multiple competing meanings. One meaning is the legal sense of public that focuses on openness. For example, a public place or path.

A second meaning for the term emphasizes public rights.

Communication Theories – Communication Studies

Lastly, within the phrase public opinion, public is said to have a related but different definition. Public, in this sense, could be characterized as social psychology.

Scholars have marveled in amazement at the power public opinion has in making regulations, norms, and moral rules triumph over the individual self without ever troubling legislators, governments or courts for assistance. Agreement and a sense of the common is what lay behind the English and French "opinion.

In Plato's Republic, a quote from Socrates conclude that opinion takes the middle position. Immanuel Kant considered opinion to be an "insufficient judgement, subjectively as well as objectively.

The definition of public opinion has been debated over time. There has not been much progress in locking in one classification of the phrase public opinion. Hermann Onckena German historian, stated Whoever desires to grasp and define the concept of public opinion will recognize quickly that he is dealing with a Proteusa being that appears simultaneously in a thousand guises, both visible and as a phantom, impotent and surprisingly efficacious, which presents itself in innumerable transformations and is forever slipping through our fingers just as we believe we have a firm grip on it That which floats and flows cannot be understood by being locked up in a formula After all, when asked, everyone knows exactly what public opinion means.

During the early s, Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann was creating the theory of the spiral of silence. She was making an effort to clarify the finding of which voting intentions would not change but yet expectations that one side would win continued to increase.

Spiral of silence communication theory

Noelle-Nuemann began to question if she was indeed grabbing a handle on what public opinion actually was. This speaks to the fact that something clinging to public opinion sets up conditions that move individuals to act, even against their own will.

Scholars have considered the content of public opinion, assumed to consist of public affairs issues.

The Sound of Silence II

Scholars point out that the emergence of the public opinion depends on an open public discourse rather than "on the discipline imposed by an apparent majority dominant enough to intimidate but whose views may or may not support actions that are in the common interest.

Scholars have also looked into the forms of public opinion, said to be those that are openly expressed and accessible; opinions that are made public, especially in the mass media.

Controversy surrounding this term spiraled around both words combining to form the phrase. One of the earliest works that called attention to the relationship between media and the formation of public opinion was Walter Lippmann 's book "Public Opinion," published in As she is building the spiral theory, Noelle-Neumann states "the reader can only complete and explain the world by making use of a consciousness which in large measure has been created by the mass media.

Agenda-setting theory describes the relationship between media and public opinion by asserting that the public importance of an issue depends on its salience in the media.

While some media communication theories assume a passive audience, such as the Hypodermic Needle model[12] the spiral model assumes an active audience "who consumes media products in the context of their personal and social goals.

They try to find out which opinions and modes of behaviour are prevalent, and which opinions and modes of behaviour are becoming more popular. They behave and express themselves accordingly in public.

Then, they try to determine whether they are in the majority: If they feel they are in the minority, they tend to remain silent.Writing the title and abstract can be the easiest and most frustrating part of writing a research paper.

There are two major things to keep in mind when writing your title and abstract: Be clear and concise.

Spiral of silence communication theory

You want everyone to know exactly what your paper is about simply by . I do think that the spiral of silence theory is gradually dying out as a communication theory.

This is due to how media is practised currently in the world thanks to the technological determininsm theory which allows for active participation from all sides of people.

Actor-Network Theory (ANT) Actor-Network Theory suggests that human and non-human factors are equally influential in the success of technological innovation and scientific knowledge-creation. This is the reference page for academic references for persuasion-related topics. Fear of Isolation and Perceived Affordances: The Spiral of Silence on Social Networking Sites Regarding Police Discrimination.

These are clusters of academic psychological theories that explain various aspects of human behavior.

Mass communication Theories of Communication