Noelle-Neumann, Elisabeth (1916–)

Born in Berlin, Germany, on December 19, 1916, Elisabeth Noelle is a journalist, an entrepreneur, and one of the most eminent and influential German communication researchers of the 20th century. She is the founder and director of the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach, the first German opinion research institute to employ the representative survey method. She is best known internationally for her “spiral of silence” theory.

Elisabeth Noelle studied journalism, history, and American studies at the universities of Berlin, Königsberg (now Kaliningrad), and Munich, before spending one year as an exchange student at the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri–Columbia in 1937. There she heard about George Gallup, Elmo Roper, and Archibald Crossley's mass surveys on the basis of representative samples, which had come ...

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