Spiral of Silence

Powerful Essays
Public communication is very important when in a discussion with coworkers and such. The one weakness that some people run into is silence. The spiral of silence theory by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann explains why certain people fall under the pressure and seclude to silence. Silence may not always be a bad thing, but according to a study by Lucy J. MacGregor, the fact is that silence during a speech or conversation is absolutely bad. With this, silence while talking to a large group negatively affects the listeners in a way in which some words in the speech will not be remembered. The point is that silence tends to destroy people’s speeches. Words are forgotten in the speech; Loss of the attention by the listeners happens and the listeners noticing that the speaker is just trying to delay the speech. As novelist Margaret Atwood has once said “A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together.”

The Spiral of Silence theory describes when and how people decide to tell the truth about the certain topic or if they decide to not speak at all. The breaking point is whether the speaker is willing to voice his own opinion against the media’s or interpersonal opinions. In Frances Bowen’s essay, figure one is a huge help to describe the whole thought process of the spiral of silence. We have to take into effect the environment that the speaker grew up in and the current environment that they live in. The environments can majorly affect the speaker because if they were taught that something was wrong then they are more than likely not going to speak up about that certain topic. Another key idea is whether or not the speaker will have the people’s...

... middle of paper ... has so far in the speech. All the listener has to do is put the past words in context and the listener’s mind will do the rest by making sure the sentence that the mind has put together actually makes sense.

Works Cited

Perry, Stephen D. Inhibiting Speech through Exemplar Distribution: Can We Predict a Spiral of Silence? Vol. 44 Issue 2, p268. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. Spring 2000.

Bowen, Frances. Spirals of Silence: The Dynamic Effects of Diversity on Organizational Voice, Vol. 40 Issue 6, p1393-1417. Journal of Management Studies. September 2003.

MacGregor, Lucy J. Listening to the sound of silence: disfluent silent pauses in speech have consequences for listeners, p3982-3992. Neuropsychologia. September 2010.

Denham-Vaughan, Jim. The Value of Silence, Vol. 6, p5-19. Gestalt Journal of Australia and New Zealand. May 2010.
Get Access