University of Minnesota
Department of Psychology

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Dr Mark Snyder

Mark Snyder

Dr Mark Snyder

Psychology N218 Elt H 75 E River Rd


How individuals create their own social worlds is the over-arching theme of my programs of research. Understanding these processes has involved theoretical and empirical inquiries into the linkages among personality, motivation, and social behavior.

Specifically, I have been concerned with the processes by which individuals construct and enact motivational 'agendas for action' that draw upon and integrate features of their personal identities and their social settings, and that guide and direct their pursuit of relevant life outcomes in diverse domains of functioning.

The investigative strategy that I employ constitutes something of a marriage between personality and social psychology. It brings together personality's concern with the psychology of the individual and social psychology's focus on the influence of the situation in coordinated programs of basic and applied research, conducted in laboratory and field settings, on the motivational foundations of individual and social behavior.

In these programs of research, my colleagues and I are addressing matters of functioning within individuals (which we have examined in studies of self and identity), between individuals (which we have investigated in studies of social interaction sequences), and in the context of groups and collectives (which we have studied in the context of voluntary action in response to societal problems)..

Much of this research is conducted within the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society, a research center at the University of Minnesota dedicated to understanding how and why people become actively involved in doing good for others and for society. Such involvement can take the form of participation in volunteerism and philanthropy, social activism, community and neighborhood organizations, social and political movements. Among the questions being addressed are: Why do individuals become involved in such pro-social action? What sustains their involvement over time? What are the consequences of such action for individuals and for society? Research relevant to these concerns can and does have a basic/theoretical or applied/action-oriented focus, or both, and is being conducted with the investigative strategies of both social psychology and personality psychology.


  • altruism
  • attitude change
  • interpersonal behavior
  • personality and social interaction
  • self-monitoring processes
  • social and psychological aspects of volunteerism and pro-social action
  • social influence
  • social perception
  • social power

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1972.
  • B. A.: McGill University, 1968.


  • Snyder, M., & Cantor, N. (1998). Understanding personality and social behavior: A functionalist strategy. The handbook of social psychology, 4th Edition, 1, 635-679.
  • Snyder, M., & Stukas, A. A. (1999). Interpersonal processes: The interplay of cognitive, motivational, and behavioral activities in social interaction. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 273-303.
  • Gangestad, S. W., & Snyder, M. (2000). Self-monitoring: Appraisal and reappraisal. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 530-555.
  • Snyder, M., Clary, E. G., & Stukas, A. A. (2000). The functional approach to volunteerism. Why we evaluate: Functions of attitudes, 365-393.
  • Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. M. (2001). Basic research and practical problems: Volunteerism and the psychology of individual and collective action. The practice of social influence in multiple cultures, 287-307.
  • Snyder, M., & Kiviniemi, M. T. (2001). Getting what they came for: How power influences the dynamics and outcomes of interpersonal interaction. The use and abuse of power: Multiple perspectives on the causes of corruption, 133-135.
  • Omoto, A. M., & Snyder, M. (2002). Considerations of community: The context and process of volunteerism. American Behavioral Scientist, 45, 846-867.
  • Klein, O., & Snyder, M. (2003). Stereotypes and behavioral confirmation: From interpersonal to intergroup perspectives. Advances in experimental social psychology, 35, 153-234.
  • Vescio, T. K., Snyder, M., & Butz, D. A. (2003). Power in stereotypically masculine domains: A social influence x stereotype match model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 1062-1078.
  • Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. M. (2004). Volunteers and volunteer organizations: Theoretical perspectives and practical concerns. Improving leadership in nonprofit organizations, 163-179.
  • Klein, O., Snyder, M., & Livingston, R. W. (2004). Prejudice on the stage: Self-monitoring and the expression of group attitudes. British Journal of Social Psychology, 43, 299-314.
  • Stuermer, S., Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. M. (2005). Prosocial emotions and helping: The moderating role of group membership. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 532-546.
  • Vescio, T. K., Snyder, M., Gervais, S. J., & Hoover, A. (2005). Power and the creation of patronizing environments: The stereotype-based behaviors of the powerful and their effects on female performance in masculine domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 658-672.
  • Snyder, M., & Klein, O. (2005). Construing and constructing others: On the reality and the generality of the behavioral confirmation scenario. Interaction Studies, 6, 53-67.
  • Vescio, T. K., Snyder, M., & Heidenreich, S. (2006). The effects of prejudice level and social influence strategy on stereotypic responding to racial outgroup members. European Journal of Social Psychology, 36, 435-450.
  • Stuermer, S., Snyder, M., Kropp, A., & Siem, B. (2006). Empathy-motivated helping: The moderating role of group membership. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 943-956.
  • Snyder, M. & Stukas, A. A., Jr. (2007). Interpersonal processes in context: Understanding the influence of settings and situations on social interaction. Social communication, 363-388.
  • Sullivan, B. A., Snyder, M., & Sullivan, J. L. (2008). Cooperation: The political psychology of effective human interaction..
  • Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. M. (2007). Social action. Social psychology: A handbook of basic principles, 2nd ed, 940-961.
  • Snyder, M. & Omoto, A. M. (2008). Volunteerism: Social issues perspectives and social policy implications.. Social Issues and Policy Review, 2, 1-36.
  • Snyder, Mark (2009). In the footsteps of Kurt Lewin: Practical theorizing, action research, and the psychology of social action.. Journal of Social Issues, 65, 225-245.
  • Fuglestad, P. T. & Snyder, M. (2009). Self-monitoring: Appraisal and reappraisal. Handbook of individual differences in social behavior, 574-591.
  • Snyder, M. & Stuermer, S. (2010). The psychology of prosocial behavior: Group processes, intergroup relations, and helping. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Oyamot, C. M., Fuglestad, P. T., & Snyder, M. (2010). Balance of power and influence in relationships: The role of self-monitoring. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27, 23-46.
  • Omoto, A. M., Snyder, M., & Hackett, J. D. (2010). Personality and motivational antecedents of activism and civic engagement. Journal of Personality, 78, 1703-1734.
  • Snyder, Mark (2011). Products of their personalities, or creatures of their situations? Personality and social behavior has the answer. Psychology and the real world: Essays illustrating fundamental contributions to society, 173-180.
  • Snyder, Mark (2011). Working for the common good: Individuals and groups address the challenges facing the world . For the greater good of all: Perspectives on individualism, society, and leadership, 167-182.
  • Deaux, K. & Snyder, M. (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Snyder, Mark, P. T. Fuglestad, P. C. Dwyer, J. Filson Moses, J. S. Kim, C. A. Mannino, L. Terveen (2012). What makes users rate (share, tag, edit…)? Predicting patterns of participation in online communities . Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2012), 969-978.
  • Snyder, Mark, P. C. Dwyer (2013). Altruism and prosocial behavior . Handbook of Psychology, Volume 5: Personality and Social Psychology (2nd ed.) , 467-485.

Professional Activities

  • President, Society for Personality and Social Psychology (Division 8 of the American Psychological Association): 1992
  • Board of Directors, American Psychological Society: 2000 - 2003
  • Council: Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues , 2001 - 2004
  • Board of Directors: Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology , 2005 - 2011
  • President: Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology , 2005
  • Editor: Contemporary Social Issues , 2007 - present
  • National Science Foundation, Social Psychology Advisory Panel: 2005 - 2009


  • College of Liberal Arts Scholars of the College, University of Minneosta, 1992 - 1995
  • National Institute of Mental Health Grants
  • National Science Foundation Grants
  • Chaire Francqui Interuniversitaire au Titre Etranger (Fondation Francqui, Belgium), 1997 - 1998
  • McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Psychology, 2001 - present
  • Donald T. Campbell Award for Distinguished Research in Social Psychology, Society of Personality and Social Psychology, 2004
  • Lifetime Career Award, International Society for Self and Identity, 2007
  • Kurt Lewin Memorial Award, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 2008
  • Distinguished Scientist Award, Society of Experimental Social Psychology, 2011
  • College of Liberal Arts Dean's Medal, University of Minnesota, 2012

Courses Taught

  • Psy 5207 - Personality and Social Behavior
  • Psy 8208 - The Self
  • Psy 8205, 8206 - Proseminar: Research in Social Psychology
  • Psychology 5-993: Research on Personality and Social Behavior
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