Elizabeth Noelle–Neumann’s Spiral of Silence theory analyses and demonstrates how interpersonal communication and media operate together in the development of public opinion. Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann is a German political scientist. Through this Spiral of Silence theory Neumann indirectly explains the Jews status during World War II under Nazi’s control. Adolf Hitler dominated the whole society and the minority Jews became silent due to the fear of isolation or separation.
This theory states that in elections certain views seem to get more play than others. Sometimes people mute their opinions rather than talk about them. It occurs when individuals express when they perceive that their opinion is popular and those who think otherwise remain quiet. This process occurs in a spiral, so that one side of an issue ends up with much publicity and the other side with little. This expression/non-expression rests on two premises. The first is that people know which opinions are popular. The second is that people adjust their expression of opinion to these perceptions. Psychologists believe that this ‘Spiral of Silence’ is caused by fear of isolation as the ‘Spiral of Silence’ is not just a matter of wanting to be on winning side but is an attempt to avoid being isolated from one’s social group. Threats of criticism are also powerful forces in silencing individuals. This process affects public opinion but these are exceptions as there are groups and individuals who do not fear isolation and express their opinion irrespective of outcome.
For example, in a company the managing director decides to increase their working hour from 8 to 10 and send e-mail to all employees.… Read the rest