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Annotated Bibliography

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 3 months ago
Annotated Bibliography
Detenber, B. H., Willnat, L., Aday, S., & Graf, J. (2004). A cross-cultural test of the spiral of silence theory
        in Singapore and the United states. Asian journal of communication, 14. Retrieved on April 3, 2008
        from the Communication and Mass Media Complete Database.
Detenber, Willnat, Aday, and Graf see how the Spiral of silence varies from individual level characteristics in two countries; Singapore and the United States. This was the first cross-cultural test of the Spiral of Silence. In two identical representative telephone polls, 412 adults from the United States in Washington D.C., and 668 adults in Singapore were asked how likely they would discuss two controversial issues publicly. Interracial marriage and equal rights for homosexuals were the two issues used. This study showed what these two different groups in totally different places thought and how they both reacted to the same source material. Viewed materials in the spiral of silence from the two groups included; fear of isolation, opinion climate, and demographics. Outspokenness was associated with respondents’ perceived importance of these issues. This study is important and shows the spiral of silence occurs in all people, and how we all use it.
Glynn, C. J., Hayes, A, F., & Shanahan, J. (1997). Perceived support for one’s opinions and willingness to
        speak out. Public Opinion Quarterly, 61. Retrieved on April 3, 2008 from the Communication and Mass
        Media Complete Database.
Glynn, Hayes and Shanahan show how the spiral of silence is used when people’s perception for their opinions and their willingness to express those opinions are supported. The analysis shows that with the presence of even a very small, but yet significant relationship between the degree to which a person believes others hold similar opinions and the willingness to express said opinions influences weather the person will express the opinion they have, or fall under the spiral of silence and say nothing. This is a meta-analysis of survey studies. Computer data basis were searched, and studies were targeted and examined to see how willing or unwilling the participants were to speak out and what social support they had or felt they had. The evidence of this analysis comes up stagnant, yet this study is a great tool into the human mind and what drives us to say or not say what we truly feel. 
Gonzenbach, W. J. (1992). The conformity hypothesis: Empirical considerations for the spiral of silence’s first link. Journalism Quarterly, 69. 
        Retrieved on March 24, 2008 from the Communication and Mass Media Complete Database. 
Gonzenbach examines the conformity hypothesis in conjunction with the topic of George Bush Sr. and his interaction with the Iran-Contra affair. The subjects partaking in the survey were shown a video of an interview between George Bush Sr. and Dan Rather. During the video there is an ever changing, fabricated, “group rating of approval” number being displayed in a box on the screen. This rating is completely made up and is only used to make the subjects believe that it is truly what the rest of the people involved in the survey are really thinking. The subjects are shown this number to test whether they would change their opinion based on what the majority opinion of the group was. Ultimately, Gonzenbach finds that this study only partially supports the spiral of silence theory. The conformity of the subjects’ surveyed was linked to the threat of public review, as well as, social status and psychological-trait characteristics.
Gonzenbach, W. J., King, C., & Jablonski, P. (1999). Homosexuals and the military: An analysis of the spiral of silence. Howard Journal of
        Communications, 10. Retrieved on March 24, 2008 from Film & Television Literature Index with Full Text Database.
Gozenbach, King, and Jablonski take the issue of homosexuals being allowed to serve in the military to test Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann’s theory. After researching hundreds of news items addressing homosexuals in the military, the threesome found that the media generally publishes items in support of homosexuals in the military. Telephone interviews were conducted over a period of eight nights to see the effects of perceptions on majority opinion and whether or not speaking out would occur. Their findings only partially supported the spiral of silence theory. Those with high exposure to media were more likely to support homosexuals in the military, but their opinions could have been shaped by the opinions of subgroups or stories in the media. Willingness to speak out wasn’t directly effected by perception of the public’s thoughts. Speaking out varied and it’s not believed to be exclusive to isolation.
Gonzenbach, W. J., & Perry, S.D. (2000). Inhibiting speech through exemplar distribution: Can we predict a spiral of silence? Journal of
        Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 44. Retrieved on March 24, 2008 from the Communication and Mass Media Complete Database. 
Gonzenbach and Perry investigate the disproportionate exemplar distributions and how they may affect people. They chose to focus on the controversial topic of prayer in school in order to try and create a spiral of silence. They conducted a test by having participants take a survey in which they were to explain what their beliefs were. Then the participants were given one of three fictional documentaries on the topic of prayer to watch. After viewing the documentary they were given another survey to fill out, asking if they’d be open to express their views of the video publicly. This was done in order to test their dedication to their beliefs and see if they could be persuaded to conform to what was the most popular opinion.    Through the course of this study they found that there was not strong enough evidence to hold the theory that exemplars can be extremely influential.
Gonzenbach, W. J., & Stevenson, R. L. (1994). Children with AIDS attending public school: An analysis of the spiral of silence. Political
        Communication, 11. Retrieved on March 24, 2008 from Communication and Mass Media Complete Database. 
Gonzenbach and Stevenson analyzed stories in the media about children with AIDS and whether they should be allowed to attend public school. They researched the broadcasts of 378 stories in the Charlotte Observer and 170 television networks in order to assess the information and apply it to the spiral of silence. They examined the different hypotheses of Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann's spiral of silence theory, initially concluding that their data only partially upheld the theory. The studies showed that exposure to the media did not tend to sway the beliefs of viewers one way or the other as much as had been expected. The majority of people think students with AIDS should be allowed in public schools. However, the majority did not consider itself as the popular opinion and therefore would not speak up as often as the minority opinion, which conversely assume they are the more popular of the two and are more inclined to be outspoken.
Hayes, A. F. (2007). Exploring the forms of self-Censorship: On the spiral of silence and the use of opinion expression avoidance strategies.
        Journal of Communication, 57. Retrieved on April 3, 2008, from the Communication and Mass Media Complete Database.
In this study, Andrew Hayes wanted to take a different perspective on The Spiral of Silence. Usually a study investigating the Spiral of Silence shows how a person’s willingness to engage and express their true opinion is the subject. He wanted to see what strategies people use to avoid voicing their opinions. In the main study, 815 students at a Midwestern University were used. The participants were given a sheet of paper with a hypothetical scenario with an experimental manipulation imbedded. They were asked how they would respond to the scenario written. The students would use a number of different tactics to avoid the situation; including reflecting the question, express uncertainty, express indifference, or say nothing at all. This is important to The Spiral of Silence because it sheds light on how people actually react and deal with issues that they care about and are not comfortable with expressing to others.
Huang, H. (2005). A cross-cultural test of the spiral of silence. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 17. Retrieved on March 24,
        2008 from CSA Illumina Database.
Huang compares conformity levels between the United States and Taiwan to test willingness to speak out in different cultures. Individualism and collectivism are closely examined because individual and group relationships heavily shape conformity. Huang hypothesizes that the individualistic culture is more willing to speak out against the majority and the collectivist culture will keep quiet. He makes the case that the United States will represent individualism and Taiwan will represent collectivism based on their cultures. Telephone surveys were conducted in the United States and Taiwan, asking about heated political issues. Americans were found to be more individualistic and Taiwanese more collectivist. Perceived views of the majority opinion did not affect America’s willingness to speak out. Taiwan, on the other hand, supported spiral of silence theory. Taiwanese were less likely to go against the majority, but for possible reasons of harmony as opposed to fears of isolation.  
Jeffres, L. W., Neuendorf, K. A., and Atkin, D. (1999). Spiral of Silence: Expressing opinions when the climate of opinion is unambiguous.
        Political Communication, 16. Retrieved on April 3, 2008 from the Communication and Mass Media Complete Database.
Jeffres, Neuendorf, and Atking use The O.J. Simpson trial of 1995 as a point of interest to shine light on how the spiral of silence exists in those moments when high stakes are involved. In this article, it was thought the spiral of silence might only exist when the stakes are high for the person evolved and how they were perceived in their groups. Though the research wasn’t proven, they did see how racial groups answered differently. The Spiral of silence can exists almost anywhere when a person’s true opinion is not expressed and that is what came up in this study. The interviews that were used in the study consisted of 233 whites, 230 blacks, and 54 Asians. This is important to the spiral of silence, because it shows how the spiral of silence can exist anywhere when a true opinion is not being herd; not just big events.
Katz, C., & Baldassare, M. (1992). Using the "l-word" in public: A test of the spiral of silence in conservative Orange County, California.
        Public Opinion Quarterly, 56. Retrieved on March 24, 2008 from the Academic Search Premier Database.
Katz and Baldassare determine what will happen when liberals and democrats brave a conservative region during the 1988 presidential campaign. The two ask if individuals would be willing to have their opinions and names published in an interview following a survey about the election. They hypothesized those in the minority would not be willing to be interviewed and willingness would decrease as the majority position increased over time. They questioned individuals via telephone surveys in Orange County. The questionings were held at three different points over a 6-month span. The time factor did not change willingness to speak out which came to an average of 39 percent. Those in the minority weren’t less likely to speak out either. Their hypothesis was discredited, but the research did show older women and low-income residents were less likely to speak out. Katz and Baldassare note that future research should examine perceptions regarding publicity as well as political climate. 
Mosher, D. L. (1989). Threat to sexual freedom: Moralistic intolerance instills a spiral of silence. The Journal of Sex Research, 26. 
        Retrieved on March 24, 2008 from the Communication and Academic Search Premier Database. 
Mosher argues that the moralists who define sex as “dirty” or “evil” are wrongfully creating a spiral of silence effect about the subject. When sex is defined with such a negative connotation, people begin to feel bad even by simply talking about the subject. He explains how Americans say they believe in certain rights pertaining to their sexual freedom, but when it comes down to it, they are afraid to voice their opinions about those rights because they may be considered “sexually immoral” or “promiscuous.” There is then an unnecessary added sense of guilt that comes along with this subject whenever it is discussed. It is this type of thinking that Mosher urges us to avoid, as it results in a spiral of silence which can ultimately lead to the limiting of our sexual freedom. We need to talk about these issues in order to educate ourselves and take responsibility for maintaining our rights.
Moy, P., Domke, D., & Stamm, K. (2001). The spiral of silence and public opinion on affirmative action. Journalism & Mass Communication
        Quarterly, 78. Retrieved on March 24, 2008 from the Academic Search Premier Database.
Moy, Domke, and Stamm developed a study to measure how willing an individual is to speak out on the topic of affirmative action. Their study looked at 1998’s Initiative 200, which proposed to eliminate discrimination in hiring and public education. The Initiative was perfect for testing because it was controversial, dealt with morality, and allowed for measuring of opinion. Questionnaires from over 200 adults in Washington were filled out a week before elections. The group found that fear of isolation would decrease an individual’s willingness to speak out about the initiative. It was also found that the more important the initiative was perceived to be, the greater the chance speaking out would occur. Educated individuals were more likely to speak out as well. The media conveys society’s opinions and it does affect willingness to speak out, but the opinions of family members/close friends have a stronger affect. 
Noelle-Neumann, E. (1977). Turbulences in the climate of opinion: Methodological applications of the spiral of silence theory. Public
        Opinion Quarterly, 1. Retrieved on March 24, 2008 from the Academic Search Premier Database. 
Noelle-Neumann discusses different ways in which to look at the spiral of silence theory and its connection to public opinion. She creates three new questions to help calculate the opinion of the public. In the first question she asks what people believe the opinion of the public is on a certain topic. The second question inquires as to what the surveyed people believe the opinion of the public will be in the future. The third question seeks to find if a person is really dedicated to stand up for what they believe in, even if it is not the most highly favored viewpoint. Another test Noelle-Neumann creates is for the fear of isolation which leads to our failure to speak out about our beliefs. She goes about testing this by using the smoking vs. non-smoking survey. After evaluating the data collected they found that when a person realizes that people share their opinion, that person is more willing to express it openly.
Perry, S.D. and Gonzenbach, W. J. (2000). Inhibiting speech through exemplar distribution: can we predict a spiral of silence?. Journal
        of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 44. Retrieved on April 3, 2008 from the Communication and Mass Media Complete Database.
Perry and Gonzenbach look at how the media is involved with the willingness of people to express their opinion in the U.S. The media is all around us, and in this study, it brings to light how the media is apart of the spiral of silence. The study examined the effect of a one-sided distribution of exemplars in a morally loaded issue, and how it affected people’s willingness to express their opinion. In the study, prayer in school constitutional amendment was used. The participants rated the issue on how controversial or not controversial it was. Three video stories were made all taking different stances on the matter; one supported the issue, another was balanced, and the other was opposing. The findings show how are influence on expression can help us see and predict a Spiral of Silence. Many participants showed how their willingness to participate was influenced by media sources. This study helps to see how Spiral of Silence can be used in the court of public opinion.
Shanahan, J., Scheufele, D., Fang, Y., & Hizi, S. (2004). Cultivation and spiral of silence effects: The case of smoking. Mass Communication
        & Society, 7. Retrieved on March 23, 2008 from the Academic Search Premier Database.
Shanahan, Scheufele, Fang, and Hizi look at how the media effects public perception in regards to smoking, while exploring the theories of cultivation and spiral of silence. Examining spiral of silence theory, the foursome asks how media exposure shapes the opinions of a non-smoker sitting across from a smoker in a public restaurant in which smoking is prohibited. Would the non-smoker ask the smoker to stop or would he be too afraid to express his opinions because it goes against others? Nearly 800 people were surveyed to find out their television habits, perceptions of smoking and willingness to ask a person to stop smoking in a restaurant. It was found that people would generally be willing to express their opinion, but their perceptions of what others thought didn’t play a major role. This data worked against spiral of silence theory. Perception of public support, however, did look to condition willingness to express opinion.

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