Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Steven Smith

Steven Smith

Broadly speaking, my research interests fall into the major categories of attitudes, social memory processes, and group decision making. I am interested in both the basic psychological issues related to these areas, as well as how they can be applied to real-world settings, particularly in health and legal settings. In my research in the attitudes area I have attempted to advance our understanding of how the cognitive structural underpinnings of attitudes impact on how individuals perceive their own attitudes, how attitudes affect attitude-behaviour consistency, as well as basic persuasion and compliance processes. I have explored these processes in a number of subject areas, but recently I have been focusing on people’s health attitudes and various aspects of health behaviour and health promotion.

My social memory research has focused on understanding how attitudes bias social memory and how we can distinguish between accurate and inaccurate social memories. I have focused on both eyewitness memory for criminal events, as well as memory as it is applied to understanding the spread of infectious and enteric disease. I have also begun to explore the role of the media and communication in individual and group decision making processes. Specifically, how can we improve group communication to facilitate and improve group decision making, especially in situations (e.g., juries, aviation, medical teams) where errors can be and often are catastrophic. In addition, along with colleagues, I have begun a comprehensive examination of how the popular media influences people’s judgments of the legal system.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Group Processes
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Law and Public Policy
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Social Cognition


Journal Articles:

Other Publications:

  • Fabrigar, L. R., Smith, S. M., & Brannon, L. A. (1999). Social cognition: Attitudes as cognitive structures. In F. Durso, R. Schvaneveldt, M. Chi, S. Lindsay, R. Nickerson, & S. Dumais (Eds.), Handbook of applied cognition (pp. 173-206). London: Wiley Books.
  • Smith, S. M., & Fabrigar, L. R. (2000). Attitude: Overview. In A. E. Kazdin (Ed.), The encyclopedia of psychology. New York: APA Books & Oxford University Press.

Courses Taught:

  • Attitudes and Persuasion
  • Psychology and Law
  • Social Behaviour

Steven Smith
Department of Psychology
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3C3

  • Phone: (902) 420-5852
  • Fax: (902) 496-8287

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