1. The capacity to persuade: being able to affect people's attitudes, values, and/or behaviour due to power, status, knowledge, contacts, and/or wealth; alternatively, the effect or agency.
2. In the rhetoric of media and technology effects, a term associated with soft determinism (rather than hard determinism), implying that a particular factor contributes to, or facilitates, some effect but that it is not a sufficient cause or perhaps even a necessary cause. Compare technological determinism.