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The spiral of silence

The spiral of silence

The spiral of silence is a human communication theory developed by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann in the 1960s.

The theory explains how societies form shared opinions an how we make decisions surrounding difficult topics. According to the theory, we are only willing to express a statement depending on how popular or unpopular we perceive it to be.

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  1. The result of the spiral of silence is that few will publicly voice a minority opinion and will instead will nurse it in private.
  2. The possibility of conflict makes us less likely to voice any opinion. If we want to know what people think, we need...

According to the theory of the spiral of silence, our desire to fit in with others means we will speak up if we think our opinion will be popular, or avoid expressing an opinion if it is unpopular.

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