changingminds.org

How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

Spiral of Silence Theory

 

Explanations > Theories > Spiral of Silence Theory

Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

People will be unwilling to publicly express their opinion if they believe they are in the minority. They will also be more vocal if they believe they are a part of the majority. Thus, the more marginalized you become, the less you speak and so spiral into a fully marginal position. 

This works because we fear social rejection. and that when a person appears to be rejected, others will back away from them, fearing being rejected because they associate with the rejected person. It also makes marginalization a powerful way of eliminating political and social competition.

Public opinion is the "attitudes or behaviors one must express in public if one is not to isolate oneself, in areas of controversy or change; public opinions are those attitudes one can express without running the danger of isolating oneself."

Research

Noelle-Neumann showed subjects a picture with one person angrily saying, "It seems to me that smokers are terribly inconsiderate. They force others to inhale their health-endangering smoke." Respondents were asked to phrase a response to the statement whilst other 'planted' people were there. When nonsmokers were nearby, many smokers were less willing to openly support smokers’ rights.

Example

If you were on a long train journey, and a person next to you starts to discuss the problems of food safety. Would you join in the conversation, speaking your true opinion? What if it were controversial, what then?

So what?

Using it

Show people how the views you want them to express are mainstream, and that the views you want them to change are minority and in danger of causing them to be socially rejected. 

Defending

When you want to say something, say it. Watch out for being maneuvered into a corner.

See also

Minority Influence, Social Judgment Theory

 www.cultsock.ndirect.co.uk/MUHome/cshtml/media/spiral.html

References

Noelle-Neumann (1984)

|wt|

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Links | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font |

 

You can buy books here

More Kindle books:

And the big
paperback book


Look inside

 

Please help and share:

 

Quick links

Disciplines

* Argument
Brand management
* Change Management
Coaching
+ Communication
Counseling
+ Game Design
+ Human Resources
+ Job-finding
* Leadership
+ Marketing
Politics
+ Propaganda
+ Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
Sociology
+ Storytelling
+ Teaching
* Warfare
Workplace design

Techniques

+ Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
+ Conversation
Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
+ Happiness
+ Hypnotism
+ Interrogation
* Language
+ Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
+ Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
+ Questioning
+ Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
+ Self-development
+ Sequential requests
Stress Management
* Tipping
Using humor
* Willpower

Principles

+ Principles

Explanations

* Behaviors
+ Beliefs
* Brain stuff
Conditioning
+ Coping Mechanisms
+ Critical Theory
+ Culture
+ Decisions
* Emotions
+ Evolution
Gender
+ Games
Groups
Habit
+ Identity
+ Learning
+ Meaning
Memory
+ Motivation
+ Models
* Needs
+ Personality
+ Power
* Preferences
+ Research
+ Relationships
+ SIFT Model
+ Social Research
Stress
+ Trust
+ Values

Theories

* Alphabetic list
* Theory types

And

- About
- Guest Articles
- Blog!
- Books
- Changes
- Contact
- Guestbook
- Links
- Quotes
- Students
- Webmasters

 

| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

Changing Minds 2002-2014
Massive Content -- Maximum Speed