We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is an Impact Study?

By Ken Black
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In impact study is research done on a certain topic to determine if a certain action would, or is, having some sort of an effect on its environment or other related issues. The most common type of this study referred to may be an environmental impact study, but there are many other types as well. These studies pull data from many different sources and often look at many different aspects of the issue.

In an environmental impact study, for example, extensive research may be done before building a road in a certain area. One of the steps may include determining how water runoff may be affected and if there are any vulnerable streams around. Another aspect could be a survey of plant and animal species in the area. Any found to be in danger could affect the project. While this may seem like a small task, this often not only includes mammals and birds, but insects as well.

An impact study could determine whether or not a project is completed. There have been cases where the unlikeliest of things have held up major developments. For example, entire highway projects have been put on hold because of a certain species of endangered butterflies in an area. This demonstrates how thorough some of these studies can be.

what is an impact study

Another type of impact study can also be used to judge a curriculum or educational program. For example, the impact of the Head Start preschool program in the United States was analyzed to determine if Head Start students do any better than students of similar circumstances who do not have access to the same program. The results may be used by Congress, or the Department of Education, to determine how much funding such programs deserve in the future.

In some cases, a project may still continue despite what an impact study finds. In cases where the negative impact can be mitigated by positive implications, there may be a net gain to the area. In other cases, the study may indicate ways the negative effects can be minimized.

Although often not part of an impact study, an action plan may be developed based on its findings. This plan will seek to clear up any issues study found. If proposed, a second study may be done based on the new action plan to determine if the situation would be improved. However, in many cases, a second study may not be necessary.


WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By honeysuckle — On May 01, 2011

I think an age study on people in their mid 30s to mid 40s would be interesting. There is so many studies done on seniors and children that they forget about middle-aged people.

By meandcoffee — On Apr 28, 2011

I think they need to do a social impact study on video games. These games can be so violent! I really think that when a person plays one of these violent games that it desensitizes them. How could it not? After playing these games hour after hour your brain would just record it and then you would not have any emotions about what you saw. All of this has got to have a negative impact on our society--and has got to be raising the crime rate.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.