The consequences of the economic downturn will certainly ......... people's lives in every society.
Based on the provided hyperlinks above, the meanings go as follows:
to have an influence on someone or something, or to cause a change in someone or something.
a powerful effect that something, especially something new, has on a situation or person.
to affect or change how someone or something develops, behaves, or thinks.
As you probably noticed, the defined bold parts show how many overlaps exist between these options. These similarities make a non-native one quite confused determining which word fits better in a particular situation.
As far as I'm concerned, all the three options above work properly in my example with some slight nuances:
"Affect" almost always is used when some effects cause a change take place.
"Impact" is used when some strong effects happen as a result.
"Influence" is used when some effects cause some changes in behavior or actions.
I am wondering whether you approve my conclusion on them.
None of the mentioned threads have specifically went through a particular example! Also, none of them have compared all three choices under the same topic. Aside from that, whereas they have not brought up the potential effects of each word in a single example, I think they are not of great help to learners. That was why I decided to make a distinct question and raise them all in one single question.
PS. having this thread posted on the forum, I am going to recognize each word's direct effect on my provided example. It would be of a great help if someone could do me a favor and let me know how using each option can alter the meaning of this specific whole case.