Mark P. Zanna is a retired University Professor and former Chair of Psychology at the University of Waterloo. He received his BA (‘66) and PhD (‘70) from Yale University.
Professor Zanna’s area of research is the psychology of attitudes. Primarily funded over the years by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, he has studied attitude structure and function, attitude formation and change, communication and persuasion (including the persistence of persuasion), and the attitude-behaviour relation. He has also conducted research on (a) overcoming resistance to persuasion, including research on subliminal priming and persuasion, self-affirmation and persuasion, and narrative persuasion, and (b) implicit attitudes (i.e., relatively automatic, intuitive evaluations), including research on aversive racists (i.e., those individuals who test low on thoughtful, conscious measures of prejudice, but high on more automatic, intuitive measures of prejudice) and defensive self-esteem (i.e., those individuals who test high on thoughtful, conscious measures of self-esteem, but low on more automatic, intuitive measures of self-esteem). In the domain of health promotion, he has evaluated a ‘safer sex’ intervention and tested the subtle effects (e.g., on implicit norms) of movie stars’ smoking in feature films. Currently, he is investigating the causes and consequences of negative implicit norms toward females in STEM disciplines.
A winner of several career awards for distinguished scientific contribution (D. O. Hebb Award, Canadian Psychological Association, 1993; D. T. Campbell Award, Society of Personality and Social Psychology, 1997; Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 1999; Inaugural Excellence in Research Award, UW, 2000; Inaugural Distinguished University Professor, UW, 2004; Inaugural Excellence in Graduate Supervision, UW, 2005; Distinguished Scientist Award, Society of Experimental Social Psychology, 2007; K. Lewin Award, Society for the Ps