My research focuses on how people process (e.g., construct, interpret, and evaluate) messages in ambiguous, difficult or problematic situations, and the social and cognitive consequences that follow from this. I pursue these issues in three interrelated areas of research: communication accommodation and message processing, communication and successful aging, and communication in multilingual medical contexts.

Theoretically, this work is grounded in communication accommodation theory (CAT), social psychological scholarship on attributions, intergroup attitudes, behavior explanation; and interdisciplinary work on cognition in communication and perspective-taking. With these three lines of work, my goal is to systematically advance our theoretical understanding of communication processes while also addressing practical questions in socially relevant contexts (e.g., aging and healthcare).


Communication Accommodation and Message Processing

In this line of research, my focus has been on advancing and testing theoretical models outlining how psychological and contextual factors influence people’s responses to problematic or ambiguous communication (including nonaccommodation). I am particularly interested in comprehension and understanding as both motives and outcomes in social interaction, and how people construct and create meaning based on the information available to them. One goal of this work is elucidating how and why communication comes to be labeled and/or experienced as problematic, and what we can do to mitigate the consequences that follow from this.

Representative publications:

Gasiorek, J., & Dragojevic, M. (2017). The effects of accumulated underaccommodation on perceptions of underaccommodative communication and speakers. Human Communication Research, 43(2), 276-294. doi: 10.1111/hcre.12105

Gasiorek, J., & Dragojevic, M. (in press). Effects of instrumental success and failure on perceptions of underaccommodative messages and speakers. Communication Reports. doi: 10.1080/08934215.2017.1335760

Gasiorek, J. (2015). Perspective-taking, inferred motive and perceived accommodation in nonaccommodative conversations. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 34, 577-586. doi: 10.1177/0261927X15584681

Gasiorek, J., Van de Poel, K., & Blockmans, I. (2015). What do you do when you can’t accommodate? Evaluating and managing communication in a multilingual medical environment. Language and Communication, 41, 84-88. doi:10.1016/j.langcom.2014.10.005

Gasiorek, J., & Giles, H. (2015). The role of inferred motive in processing nonaccommodation: Evaluations of communication and speakers. Western Journal of Communication, 79, 456-471. doi: 10.1080/10570314.2015.1066030

Gasiorek, J. (2013). “I was impolite to her because that’s how she was to me”: Perceptions of motive and young adults’ communicative responses to underaccommodation. Western Journal of Communication, 77, 604-624. doi: 10.1080/10570314.2013.778421

Giles, H., & Gasiorek, J. (2013). Parameters of non-accommodation: Refining and elaborating communication accommodation theory.  In J. Forgas, J. László , & V. Orsolya (Eds.), Social cognition and communication (pp. 155-172).  New York: Psychology Press.

Gasiorek, J., & Giles, H. (2012). Effects of inferred motive on evaluations of nonaccommodative communication. Human Communication Research, 38, 309-332. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2958.2012.01426.x

Communication and Successful Aging

IMG_20150716_095250_250In this line of research, I study the role of communication in understanding what it “means” to get older, and the formation of attitudes toward aging and toward older adults.  This work seeks to understand what kind of communication is associated with experiences of successful aging, and how we can foster more positive and empowering attitudes about getting older.

This work has been covered in popular press outlets such as Psychology Today and the Huffington Post.

Representative publications:

Gasiorek, J., & Barile, J. P. (in press). Associations between profiles of communication about aging and quality of life for middle-aged and older American adults. International Journal of Aging and Human Development. doi: 10.1177/0091415017724546

Gasiorek, J., Fowler, C., & Giles, H. (2016). Communication and successful aging. In J. Nussbaum (Ed.), Communication across the lifespan (pp. 35-50).  New York: Peter Lang. doi: 10.3726/978-1-4539-1701-5

Gasiorek, J., & Fowler, C. (2016). Profiling younger adults’ communication about aging. Communication Studies, 67, 163-182. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2015.1121159

Fowler, C., Gasiorek, J., & Giles, H. (2015). The role of communication in aging well: Introducing the communicative ecology model of successful aging. Communication Monographs, 82, 431-457. doi: 10.1080/03637751.2015.1024701

Gasiorek, J., Fowler, C., & Giles, H. (2015). What does successful aging sound like? Profiling communication about aging. Human Communication Research, 41, 577-602. doi: 10.1111/hcre.12060

Gasiorek, J., & Giles, H. (2013). Communication, volunteering, and aging: A research agenda. International Journal of Communication, 7, 2659–2677. Available:

Giles, H., & Gasiorek, J. (2011). Intergenerational communication practices. In K. W. Schaie & S. Willis (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of aging (7th ed., pp. 231-245). New York: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-380882-0.00015-2