ERIC Number: ED218617
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Public Opinion Du Jour: Its Impact on Communication and Voting Behavior.
Glynn, Carroll J.; McLeod, Jack M.
A study was conducted during the 1980 presidential campaign to answer three questions about the nature of public opinion: (1) What is the effect of customary patterns of mass media use and interpersonal communication on perceptions of public opinion about election campaigns? (2) What effect does the magnitude of discrepancy between a person's own vote choice and his/her perception of public opinion have on the use of mass media and interpersonal communication during the campaign? and (3) What is the relationship between own preference and perceived public opinion discrepancy, campaign communication behavior, and changes in vote preferences during the campaign? Telephone interviews were conducted with 98 eligible voters in Dane County, Wisconsin, three times--twice prior and once after the election. Results indicated perplexing and sometimes ambiguous answers to the questions. Television influence appeared stronger than either newspaper or interpersonal communication influence. In answer to the second question, the "spiral of silence" theory, that those who see their position losing ground will stop talking with others, was given little support. Data on the third question indicate connections between perception of public opinion and personal vote preferences, but the complexity of the issue does not permit a strong assertion of causation. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Media Use
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).