How Scotland's Spiral of Silence Unwound

The polls predicted a closer vote in Scotland because of a sociological phenomenon called the Spiral of Silence.
the not so silent minority.

For days Scotland's independence referendum seemed too close to call on the basis of opinion polls, but voting results show a comfortable victory for the pro-union campaign -- 55 percent to 45 percent. German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann explained this paradox back in 1974 with a theory she called the Spiral of Silence.

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