The Spiral of Silence Revisited
DOI link for The Spiral of Silence Revisited
The Spiral of Silence Revisited book
This chapter sketches the basic assumptions and the architecture of the spiral of silence theory and reviews the empirical evidence for the assumed effects. The theoretical foundation is related to the high-choice online environment. A review of empirical studies on the spiral of silence under online conditions includes findings from our own empirical investigation of the German debate on climate change and on the Federal Election in 2013. The spiral of silence theory divided into three assumptions, each relating to different effects within the spiraling process. The first assumption addresses the effect of mass media on people's perceptions of public opinion, the second assumption deals with the effect of congruency between perceived public opinion and people's own opinions on willingness to speak out in public, and the third assumption regards the effects of congruency on individuals attitudes and behavior, which add up to a shift in public opinion on the macro level.