Value Research

One of the most intriguing features of the phenomenon that we call public opinion is its power to generate ethical and aesthetical standards. Public opinion determines what is considered to be good or evil, beautiful or ugly. And these ethical categories determine not only the opinion, but also the behavior of the average individual in every society, in each cell of human coexistence.

Still, public opinion does not only affect the anonymous individual. Plato realized that power only rests on opinion. Power flows from public opinion. And every individual who pursues power, this is Plato’s conclusion, will end up being a slave of the opinion.

The question that has been intriguing me for years is: How does public opinion attain such power over masses of individuals and political actors?

The answer to this question deals necessarily with the capacity of public opinion to generate and impose ethical and aesthetical values. In my scientific activity, I am constantly scrutinizing social values and try to understand the mechanisms that make possible the change of such values.