chapter  5
11 Pages

Methodological Conundrums in Spiral of Silence Research

ByJörg Matthes, Andrew F. Hayes

As a pollster and professor of communication at the University of Mainz, Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann was not only a public opinion and communication scholar; she was also a methodologist at heart. She provided the fi eld with a specifi ed research methodology to test the spiral of silence, was known for her intuition and hardheadedness when constructing items and designing questionnaires, and was never reluctant to criticize other spiral of silence studies she perceived as inappropriate in methodological terms. Needless to say, Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann engendered a rich legacy of ideas that sparked many interesting debates and infused the fi elds of public opinion and political communication with theoretical and methodological vitality.