Social Impact Theory

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Source
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The influenceing goup.
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Target
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Who is being influenced.
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Strength
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How important the influencing group are to you.
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Immediacy
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How close the influencing attempt is to you at the time of influence.
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Number
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How many people there are in the group.
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Psychosocial Law
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It is not simply the case that as strength, immediacy and nuber of the source increases, so does the social impact they have on the target. Lightbulb in a dark room 1 lightbulb in a dark room will have a dramatic effect A second lightbulb will improve the lighting conditions. The effect becomes less pronounced as more are added.
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Berkowitz, Bickman & Milgram (1969) Reduction in Social Impact
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Procedure: 1-15 confederates looked up at the 6th floor of a uni building. Milgram was on the 6th floor filming the number of passers by that stopped to look up. They were counted. Found: If they increase the number of confederates, it increased the number of passers by tha looked up. The effect eventually levelled off.
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Multiplicative Effect
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Strength X Immediacy X number = major impact on the behaviour of the target (dont forget the lightbulb effect)
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Divisional Effect
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The ability of the speaker to persuade the audiance is divided among many members of the audiance. The number of targets to be influenced affects the impact of the source.
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STRENGTHS of Social Impact Theory
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Useful as general formulation Predict behaviour under certain conditions Principles can be observed in everyday behaviour Proof in forms of experiments.
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WEAKNESSES of Social Impact Theory
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Everyone is different, so this theory seems to oversimplify the nature of human. Ignore individual differences between each of us. Static rather than dynamic theory – it doesn’t say how target and source interact with one another. More descriptive than explanatory – theory.

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