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vikram chawla August 21st, 2009 12:03 PM

PUBLIC OPINION-Handley Cantril
Some years ago, Handley Cantril worked out some laws of public opinion on the basis of intensive study of the trends over a decade. He held that trends that were recorded by the polls support these generalizations.

-In all important events, opinion is very sensitive.

-Opinion is determined by events than by words unless the words are interpreted as events.

-Public opinion is coloured by desires like the individual opinion, when the opinion is based on desires rather than information, it will show sharp shifts with the events.

-People are able to form opinions more easily with respect to goals rather than the methods necessary to accomplish it.

-People are less reluctant to have critical divisions of opinions made by their leaders.

-When an opinion is not structured solidly or when an opinion is held by a simple majority an accomplished fact will tend to shift the opinion in the direction of acceptance.

-Opinions are not easily changed when self interest is involved.

-Unless people feel that their self interest is actually involved or opinion aroused by words is sustained by events, opinion does not remain aroused for a longer period.

-Opinions do not anticipate emergencies, it only reacts to them.

-When an opinion is unrestricted or when people are open to suggestions and seek some interpretation from a reliable source, verbal statements and outlined of a course of action have the maximum importance.


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