Spiral of silence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Noelle‐Neumann's spiral of silence theory explains how perceptions of the public opinion environment influence opinion expression behavior. The theory claims that individuals are motivated by their innate fear of being socially isolated to continually evaluate the climate of public opinion. Using interpersonal communication experiences and the media, individuals assess their environment. According to the theory, upon assessment of the opinion environment, individuals determine the climate of opinion and determine whether their own opinion on a morally based and controversial issue aligns with the belief of the majority or if their opinion is contrary to the opinion held by the majority of others. As a result, those who find they agree with the majority are believed to feel emboldened and freely express their opinion. On the other hand, those who determine they hold an alternative opinion, that is perceived to lie in the minority of public opinion, are more likely to conceal their own
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpiral of silence
StatePublished - 2020


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