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Social Impact Theory

Social impact theory was proposed by Bibb Latané in 1981 to predict how and when sources of social influence will affect a target of influence. It is a very broad theory, seeking to encompass a variety of thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physiological states. When other people are sources of social influence on a target person, impact is predicted to be a multiplicative function of the strength, immediacy, and number of sources. When other people are cotargets of social influence, social impact is predicted to be divided as an inverse power function of the strength, immediacy, and number of the targets. The theory was proposed as a descriptive model, or metatheory, as opposed to an explanatory one. It was influenced by ideas in sociology, astronomy, geography, ...

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