aristotle - 9:01 pm on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)
does the author of an article (the G+ author) influence the position of that article in the SERPS?
Whether it does or not, a lot of people believe that it does, or at least will in the future.
Google is under the delusion that famous writers, leading researchers, top experts, etc, will join Google+ and start using the author tag. In reality, the vast majority that use it will be unknowns who think that it will give their work a boost in the SERPs.