Opinion formation

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Opinion formation is a term from sociology and psychology which describes the processes that lead to decisions , such as political decisions, religious decisions or purchase decisions . The focus here is on the question of which opinions have an influence , whether it is a question of liberal and individual or power -controlled processes. A prevailing opinion is also called public opinion or dominant opinion .

Historically, the term opinion-forming is related to freedom of opinion and maturity as educational ideals of the Enlightenment , the risk of which is discussed, for example, through media manipulation , censorship , propaganda or demagoguery . Jürgen Habermas , for example, interpreted the changes in the 20th century in his work Structural Change of the Public (1962). - Opinion formation is empirically examined by opinion research.


  • Hans Mathias Kepplinger, Klaus Gotto, Hans-Bernd Brosius , Dietmar Haak: The influence of television news on the formation of political opinion. Alber, Freiburg im Breisgau 1989, ISBN 3-495-47676-8 .
  • Holger Rust (ed.): Europe campaigns: dynamics of public opinion formation in Denmark, France and Switzerland. Facultas, Vienna 1993, ISBN 3-495-47676-8 .
  • Christoph Schelhammer, Raoul Steiger, Se-Sung Yoon: Forming political opinions in ego-centered networks. Grin, Zurich 2009, ISBN 978-3-640-39635-1 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Opinion formation  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations