My research focuses on message processing– that is, how we create understanding, and perceive and interpret what people say and do– with particular attention to its effects on social dynamics and people’s subjective well-being.  Theoretically, this work is grounded in communication accommodation theory (CAT) and social psychological scholarship on attributions, intergroup attitudes, behavior explanation, and perspective-taking.  In short, it seeks to better understand:

  • How do we respond, psychologically and communicatively, to problematic communication in different situations and contexts, particularly those that are intergroup in nature?
  • What are the short- and long-term consequences of these communicative and psychological responses, in terms of both social dynamics and our own well-being?
  • How can we orient people towards responses with less harmful consequences?

IMG_20131020_063635_004-PANOI pursue these questions in three related lines of research, focusing on (1) CAT and message processing; (2) the role of communication in experiences of successful aging; and (3) problematic communication in cross-cultural and cross-linguistic medical interactions.

CAT and Message Processing

In this line of research, my focus has been on advancing and testing theoretical models outlining how inferred motive and perspective-taking influence people’s responses to nonaccommodation (i.e., problematic communication).

Representative publications:

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., & 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 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., & 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 middle-aged and older adults’ 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

Communication in Cross-Cultural and Multilingual Medical Contexts

In this line of research, I examine the issues that medical professionals face in cross-cultural and multilingual interactions, with the goal of understanding how and why problematic communication often occurs in these situations.

Representative publications:

Gasiorek, J. (2015). Epilogue: Engaging identity and foregrounding context in health communication research. Journal of Language and Social Psychology [Special Issue], 34, 702-708. doi: 10.1177/0261927X15586431

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., & Van de Poel, K. (2014). ‘We feel stupid and we shouldn’t’: Toward developing a communication support system for Cuban-trained medical students. Per Linguam, 30, 71-92. doi: 10.5785/30-1-571

Gasiorek, J., & Van de Poel, K. (2012). Divergent perspectives on language-discordant mobile medical professionals’ communication with colleagues: An exploratory study. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 40, 368-383. doi:10.1080/00909882.2012.712708