Social Impact Theory

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Who proposed Social Impact Theory?
(Bibb) Latane.
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What is the theory about?
Social influence as opposed to specifically obedience.
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What did he believe that other people had the ability to do to us? (4)
Inhibit, persuade, threaten and support us.
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Who are the sources and targets of social influence?
Sources- the influencers, Targets- The people being impacted on.
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What are the three main principles of social impact theory?
Social forces, psychological law and the divisional effect.
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What three aspects affect the sources influence on the target? (Social Forces)
Strength of the source: How important they are to us, e.g status. Immediacy: How close the source is to us, e.g proximity. Number: how many sources and targets there are in the situation.
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What is the idea of psychological law?
That influence increase with a growing number of sources but at a decreasing rate. (Light bulb effect)
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What is the divisional effect?
The power of the source decreases as the number of targets increases. It is harder to persuade someone if they have an ally or allies.
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WHat are two supporting studues of Social Impact theory?
Sedikedes and Jackson (1990) and Berkowitz, Bickman and Milgram, (1969)
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Describe Sedikedes and Jackson (1990) and how it supports social Impact Theory?
Field experiment, when people asked to stop leaning on a rail at a zoo, when the worker was in a uniform, they were obeyed more. Links to strength of source.
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Describe Berkowitz, Bickman and Milgram (1969)?
They got people to crane their necks up by having confederates do the same. The more cond=federates that did it the more passers by joined in. The effect eventually levelled off. (Light Bulb effect)
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What is an opposing study of Social Impact Theory?
Mullen (1985)
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How does Mullen (1985) oppose Social Impact Theory?
Conducted meta-analysis on source strength adn immediacy. Found that source strength was only supported by self-reported tension. Concluded effects were weak and may just be demand characteristics.
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What is the theory about?

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Social influence as opposed to specifically obedience.

Card 3

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What did he believe that other people had the ability to do to us? (4)

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Card 4

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Who are the sources and targets of social influence?

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Card 5

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What are the three main principles of social impact theory?

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