Thursday, January 21, 2021

Snyder’s Research Quoted in Psychology Today

Headshot of Dr. Mark Snyder
A major goal and ongoing challenge of social psychology is to use individuals’ attitudes to predict their behavior. In a Psychology Today article titled “When Do Attitudes Predict Behavior?” the way in which attitudes can be strong predictors of behavior are examined. For example, attitudes are better predictors when they are strong and stable, such as holding a political belief rather than having a favorite color. Also, the more specific the attitude is, the better a predictor it will be. Many studies conducted by Mark Snyder, PhD, McKnight Presidential Chair in the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, and his team have found that attitudes are more useful as predictors when the individual is actually aware of their attitudes.

Snyder found in one case that favorable attitudes of students to psychology studies did not actually predict volunteering in the experiment unless students were reminded of the attitude they had previously expressed and its relevance. It is important to remember that attitudes can be good predictors of behavior as long as one takes into account the constraints of this method. If using attitudes to predict behavior, it would be best to do this over a long period of time and in a precise situation.

Composed by Flora Pollack, communications assistant.