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Communication and public opinion

What is Public Opinion? Approach of concepts of public and opinion. Communication and Public Opinion. Information and opinion. Opinion and news media. Theories.

Communication has received less attention as a central variable of the public opinion process. Next figure presents the conceptualization of the public opinion process, with communication as a driving force behind the model, as was conceptualized in Hoffmann et al. (2007).

A model of public opinion process with communication as a driving force (Source: Hoffmann et al., 2007, 291)

Each of the components has the potential to influence public opinion, operationalized as the expression of opinions around a focusing event, thus the model focuses on three sources of influence:

  • the central role of predispositions and interests (i.e.‘intrapersonal filters’);
  • the vital function of the media as disseminators of public opinion and issue specific information (i.e. ‘media filters’)
  • the importance of interpersonal political discussion in giving an issue momentum and strengthening opinion, as well as supplying additional relevant information (i.e. ‘social filters’). (Hoffmann et al., 2007, 289)

Methodology and Resources

  • Lindsay H. Hoffman, Carroll J. Glynn, Michael E. Huge, Rebecca Border Sietman, and Tiffany Thomson, 2007, The Role of Communication in Public Opinion Processes: Understanding the Impacts of Intrapersonal, Media, and Social Filters in International Journal of Public Opinion Research 19(3) · July 2009, DOI: 10.1093/ijpor/edm014