January 10th, 2018
Spiral of silence theory – conclusion
Spiral of silence theory suggests that out of fear of isolation from social systems, the minority may avoid speaking out their opinion when it is in conflict with the majority’s, eventually resulting into a sequence that entrenches and propagates the majority opinion as the conventional opinion. This paper reviews empirical assays of this theory to assess its validity in differing concepts. From the reviewed literature, mixed results have been elicited. Whereas some support for the spiral of silence theory arises from studies such as those assessing affirmative actions, other studies have not found such theory to predict expression of opinion e.g. with regard to the influence of the media. Yet other studies have identified moderating factors such as culture that render the theory valid or in-valid in various contexts. However, as noted in a different study, the lack of support for the theory may lie in methodological challenges such as equating measures of “speaking out” to those of “not speaking out”, the later being what the spiral of silence theory concerns itself with.
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