This study analyses the impact of perceptions of the opinions of others on political outspokenness in Hong Kong. Based on the results of two representative telephone surveys conducted in Hong Kong in 1993 and 1995, the spiral of silence theory is tested in the context of public opinion regarding the Sino-British dispute over Hong Kong's political future and the 1995 Legislative Council election. As hypothesized, respondents in both surveys were more willing to voice their political opinions publicly when they perceived the majority opinion to be on their side, or when they perceived a trend in support of their own political viewpoint. However, this effect was observed only for respondents who were not much concerned about either issue. People's political outspokenness was primarily boosted by higher issue salience, more exposure and attention to television news and news magazines, and higher political interest and efficacy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas