This study reports a cross-cultural test of people's willingness to publicly express their opinions about controversial issues. A telephone survey was used to measure public support for Radio Marti in the Miami metropolitan area. The study was grounded in the "spiral-of-silence" theory, which asserts that public expression of opinion is a function of perceived majority opinion. The theory maintains that the news media shape public perceptions of majority opinion. By using a combination of factor analysis and regression, it was found that among all respondents, regardless of ethnicity, the best predictor of willingness to publicly express one's opinion was personal opinion and perceptions of other people in the community and nation. News media support for Radio Marti did not influence respondents' willingness to express their opinions. Media usage was a significant predictor when it was treated as an interaction effect with ethnicity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science