Charles R. Snyder

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Charles Richard "Rick" Snyder (1944–2006) was an American psychologist who specialized in positive psychology. He was a Wright Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Kansas and editor of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.


Snyder obtained his Ph.D from Southern Methodist University, then had doctoral training in clinical psychology at Vanderbilt University, and then postdoctoral training at the Langley Porter Institute.[1]


His entire professional career was at the University of Kansas. He was one of those who developed the field of positive psychology, and wrote the first textbook in that field, Positive Psychology.

He was best known for his work on hope and forgiveness, and also developed theories explaining how people react to personal feedback, to the human need for uniqueness, and to the drive to excuse and forgive transgressions. His theory of hope emphasizes goal-directed thinking, where a person uses both pathways thinking (the perceived capacity to find routes to their desired goals) and agency thinking (the necessary motivation to use those routes).[2] His analysis of the motivational forces – excuse-making and forgiveness – allowed individuals to disconnect themselves from past negative experiences and connect themselves to hope, the possibilities of the future.[3] In 2000, he demonstrated his hope theory on Good Morning America by conducting a live experiment with the show's correspondents.[3][4]



  • (the first textbook in this area),
  • The Handbook of Positive Psychology,
  • Positive Psychological Assessment,
  • Uniqueness: The Human Pursuit of Difference
  • The Psychology of Hope.


Snyder was two times awarded KU's Outstanding Progressive Educator award (known as the HOPE award) by the undergraduate seniors.[5] he became a fellow of the American Psychological Association's Division of Teaching In 1995[6] Snyder directed the phd dissertation for 41 students, and received APA's Raymond Fowler Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in 2000. In 2005, he received an honorary doctorate from Indiana Wesleyan University.[5] His research on uniqueness was the subject of a Sunday Doonesbury cartoon sequence, .[citation needed]


  1. ^ KU News - Chancellor, colleagues issue statements on death of KU Professor Rick Snyder
  2. ^ Snyder, C. R., & Lopez, S. J. (2007). Positive psychology: The scientific and practical explorations of human strengths. Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications
  3. ^ a b Lopez, S. J. (2006). "C. R. (Rick) Snyder (1944–2006)." American Psychologist, 61(7): 719.
  4. ^ KU News - Chancellor, Colleagues issue statements on the death of KU Professor Rick Snyde [1](2006)r
  5. ^ a b [2]
  6. ^ [3].

Additional reading[edit]

  • Lopez, Shane J. and Candice A. Ackerman. "Snyder, C. R.." The Encyclopedia of Positive Psychology. Lopez, Shane J. Blackwell Publishing, 2009. Blackwell Reference Online. 2 August 2011 [4]