Daryl J. Bem is a noted social psychologist at Cornell University and the originator of the self-perception theory of attitude change . Bem received a BA from Reed College in physics in 1960. He later dropped out of graduate study in physics at MIT to pursue social psychology, for which he earned a PhD from the University of Michigan in 1964. He has also carried out research on Psi phenomena (a technical term for "ESP"), group decision making, handwriting analysis , sexual orientation, and personality theory and assessment.
Bem is perhaps best known for his theory of "self-perception" as the most oft-cited competitor to Leon Festinger's cognitive dissonance theory. According to the self-perception account, people infer their attitudes from their own behavior much as an outside behavior might, so a person asked to give a pro-Fidel Castro speech would subsequently view themselves as being more in favor of Castro.