The Power of Silence?Opinion Contagion and the Surprise of the Polish 2005 Parliamentary and Presidential Elections Cover Image
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The Power of Silence?Opinion Contagion and the Surprise of the Polish 2005 Parliamentary and Presidential Elections
The Power of Silence?Opinion Contagion and the Surprise of the Polish 2005 Parliamentary and Presidential Elections

Author(s): Eszter Bartha, Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Polskie Towarzystwo Socjologiczne
Keywords: spiral of science; thresholdmodel; opinion assertion

Summary/Abstract: This paper investigates opinion contagion in collective behaviour using threshold model (Granovetter (1978)). The theoretical background is the spiral of silence concept developed by Noelle-Neumann (1974), arguing that people only assert their opinions if they perceive a minimal support from a relevant proportion of others. We apply the model to explain the dispersion between pre-elections preferences and the final results of the Polish parliamentary and presidential elections in 2005. It is shown that the minority opinions were more widely-held than was declared in opinion polls as a consequence of different distributions of the threshold values of opinion assertion.

  • Issue Year: 165/2009
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 138-123
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Polish