Final Question 3. - a. What is impersonal influence and how...

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a. What is impersonal influence and how does it differ from other types of social influence we have discussed this semester? Mutz states that impersonal influence “results from people’s perceptions of the experiences or opinions of a mass collective” (p. xvi). She gives an exact definition later on – “influence that derives from people’s perceptions of others’ attitudes, beliefs, or experiences” where “others” refers to “the anonymous ‘others’ outside an individual’s realm of personal contacts (p. 4). In other words impersonal influence is the influence of a perceived social norm. It is the influence derived from what one thinks other people think or do, and therefore either wants to follow that or rebel against it. According to Mutz, in her preface, the difference between personal (other types of social influence) and impersonal influence is the belief held by personal influence that information from the media cannot match its power of persuasion while the persuasive power of impersonal influence comes from the nature of the information from media (p. xvi). This influence is more of an indirect influence since it is the representations of what other people are doing in regular media presentation that prompt people to be influenced (Nisbet, 2008). b. According to Mutz’s models, how does the media shape perceptions of social reality and
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Final Question 3. - a. What is impersonal influence and how...

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