• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Social Impact Theory

Definition

Social impact theory proposes that the amount of influence a person experiences in group settings depends on (a) strength (power or social status) of the group, (b) immediacy (physical or psychological distance) of the group, and (c) the number of people in the group exerting the social influence (i.e., number of sources). Thus, a group that has many members (rather than few members), high power (rather than low power), and close proximity (rather than distant proximity) should exert the most influence on an individual. Conversely, if the strength of the person exposed to the social influence (i.e., target) increases, the immediacy of the group decreases, or if the number of targets increases, the amount of influence exerted by the group on the individual decreases. The ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles