Date of this Version
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
If Personal Influence (Katz and Lazarsfeld 1955) has survived, it is thanks to Paul Lazarsfeld. Having stumbled on the idea of the “two-step flow of communication” in his study (Lazarsfeld, Berelson, and Gaudet 1944/1948, chap. xvi) of how voters made up their minds in the 1940 presidential election, it was typical of him, as empiricist and entrepreneur, to take the next step toward confirming the hypothesis that messages from the media are intercepted by “opinion leaders” who filter them, selectively, to their peers. Fieldwork for what was called the Decatur Study was begun toward the end of World War II, and its aim was to trace the flow of influence in the making of everyday decisions. I had no share in the design or fieldwork for the study, nor in most of the subsequent analysis. At the time, I was just beginning in Columbia College and, a year later, in the U.S. Army.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol 608/No 1, 2006, © SAGE Publications, Inc., 2006, by SAGE Publications, Inc. at the The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science page: http://ann.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/
Katz, E. (2006). True Stories. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 608 (1), 301-314. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716206293441
Date Posted: 06 April 2012