Breaking the Spiral of Silence

Breaking the Spiral of Silence

Researcher Chengjun Wang finds that local reference groups, such as local media, continue to influence public opinion. This is despite the fact that social media offers diverse opinions at the global scale. He calls this the “spiral of silence.” His mathematical model shows that people are still largely influenced by people close them in real life, who are in turn influenced by mainstream media. People who exhibit different opinions are still seen as marginal. This research identifies the current limits of social media to displace dominant views by traditional media.

Read the study (free PDF):

Photo: WildShutterBug via FlickrRe

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