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Posted: September 6th, 2023

Social Impact Theory

Assignment Details PSY 216 – 01 (2532) INTRO TO SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Social Psychology Theories in the News
Goal of the Assignment: To explain how a particular social psychology theory relates to a specific event reported in the news. Students may notify me in advance if they want to work in pairs. (No groups larger than 2.)
THEORY: Choose one of the following theories and explain the theory in detail. If you want to use any other theory you must get written permission from me via Canvas message.
• Theory of Planned Behavior (factors that influence the whether people behave in accordance with their attitudes), see Chapter 4.1 https://opentextbc.ca/socialpsychology/chapter/ex ploring-attitude, and illustration of model in Figure 4.2 • Two Routes to Persuasion (persuasion can occur via systematical/central/thoughtful route or heuristic/peripheral/spontaneous route), See Chapter 4.2 ilttps://opentextbc.ca/socialpsychology Thapter/ch ,itudes-through-persuasion/ and illustration of model in Figure 4.6 • Social Impact Theory (factors that influence a person’s conformity or obedience), see Chapter 6.1 httpopentextbc.ca/socialpsychology/chapter/th e-manv-varieties-of-conformity/ and PPT slide illustrating model
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Social Impact Theory

Social impact theory is a social psychological theory that states that individuals are more likely to conform to the norms of a group when they are in the presence of others. The theory was developed by Bibb Latané in 1981 and is based on the idea that the strength of social influence is determined by three factors:

Strength: The strength of the social influence is determined by the perceived power or status of the source of the influence. For example, people are more likely to conform to the norms of a group if the group is perceived as being powerful or prestigious.
Immediacy: The immediacy of the social influence is determined by the physical or psychological distance between the source of the influence and the target. For example, people are more likely to conform to the norms of a group if they are physically close to the group members.
Number: The number of sources of social influence is determined by the number of people who are exerting the influence. For example, people are more likely to conform to the norms of a group if there are a large number of group members.

Social impact theory has been used to explain a variety of social phenomena, including conformity, obedience, and bystander intervention. For example, social impact theory can be used to explain why people are more likely to conform to the norms of a group when they are in the presence of others than when they are alone. Similarly, social impact theory can be used to explain why people are more likely to obey the orders of an authority figure when they are in the presence of others than when they are alone. Finally, social impact theory can be used to explain why people are less likely to intervene in an emergency when there are a large number of bystanders than when there are few bystanders.

Example of Social Impact Theory in the News

One example of social impact theory in the news is the recent trend of people recording themselves doing good deeds. For example, there have been a number of videos that have gone viral of people paying for the groceries of the person behind them in line or giving money to homeless people. These videos have been praised by many people, who see them as examples of people going out of their way to help others. However, social impact theory suggests that there may be another reason for this trend. In particular, social impact theory suggests that people are more likely to do good deeds when they are being watched by others. This is because the presence of others increases the perceived strength of the social influence, which in turn makes people more likely to conform to the norm of helping others.

In addition to the example above, there are many other examples of social impact theory in the news. For example, social impact theory can be used to explain why people are more likely to vote when they are registered to vote and why people are more likely to donate to charity when they are asked to do so by a friend or family member. Social impact theory can also be used to explain why people are more likely to follow the rules when they are in a group setting and why people are more likely to engage in risky behaviors when they are surrounded by others who are doing the same thing.

Conclusion

Social impact theory is a powerful tool that can be used to understand a variety of social phenomena. By understanding the factors that influence social impact, we can better understand how people behave in groups and how we can influence their behavior.

References
Pfajfar, G., Shoham, A., Małecka, A., & Zalaznik, M. (2022). Value of corporate social responsibility for multiple stakeholders and social impact–Relationship marketing perspective. Journal of business research, 143, 46-61.
Giacomini, E., Marinelli, N. and Riccetti, L., The impact at stake: Risk and return in publicly listed social impact firms. Business Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility.

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