Word Power: Communication for Connection

Resources and Research 2017

The Center for Nonviolent Communication

Restorative Justice

The Psychology of Language: Which Words Matter the Most When We Talk


The psychology of language – psycholinguistics


The psychology of language and communications journal


Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics


Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy


What Constant Exposure To Negative News Is Doing To Our Mental Health


The work of British psychologist Dr. Graham Davey, who specializes in the psychological effects of media violence, “Negative news can significantly change an individual’s mood — especially if there is a tendency in the news broadcasts to emphasize suffering and also the emotional components of the story,”

How the Negative News Cycle Can Impact Mental Health


The near-constant barrage of stories about disease outbreaks, war, and natural disasters are taking a toll on people who consume the news, said Dr. Mary McNaughton-Cassill, a psychologist who studies the connection between stress and the media.

  1. Holman, E. A., Garfin, D. R., and Silver, R. C. (2013). Media’s role in broadcasting acute stress following the Boston Marathon bombings. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol 111 (1), 93-98. doi:10.1073/pnas.1316265110
  1. Moeller, S. D. (1999). Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sell Disease, Famine, War and Death. New York, NY: Routledge.
  2. Schwarzer, R. (1997). Psychosocial Notebook. Retrieved from http://www.macses.ucsf.edu/research/psychosocial/anxiety.php
  3. Szabo, A. and Hopkinson, K.L. (2007). Negative psychological effects of watching the news in the television: Relaxation or another intervention may be needed to buffer them! International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Vol 14 (2), 57-62. doi:10.1007/BF03004169

The Psychological Effects of TV News


Online Social Networking and Mental Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183915/

Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks

ADI Kramer, JE Guillory… – Proceedings of the …, 2014 – National Acad Sciences


We show, via a massive (N = 689,003) experiment on Facebook, that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. We provide experimental evidence that emotional contagion occurs without direct interaction between people (exposure to a friend expressing an emotion is sufficient), and in the complete absence of nonverbal cues.

Emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. Emotional contagion is well established in laboratory experiments, with people transferring positive and negative emotions to others. Data from a large real-world social network, collected over a 20-y period suggests that longer-lasting moods (e.g., depression, happiness) can be transferred through networks [Fowler JH, Christakis NA (2008) BMJ 337:a2338], although the results are controversial. In an experiment with people who use Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between individuals by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others’ positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.

Words affect mood

Facebook’s emotional consequences: Why Facebook causes a decrease in mood and why people still use it

C Sagioglou, T Greitemeyer – Computers in Human Behavior, 2014 – Elsevier

Emotion and language: valence and arousal affect word recognition.

V Kuperman, Z Estes, M Brysbaert… – Journal of Experimental …, 2014 – psycnet.apa.org

The role of language in the development of emotion regulation.

PM Cole, LM Armstrong, CK Pemberton – 2010 – psycnet.apa.org

[BOOK] Language as a local practice

A Pennycook – 2010 – books.google.com

Inspiring others: The language of leadership

JA Conger – The executive, 1991 – amp.aom.org

While we have learned a great deal about the necessity of strategic vision and effective leadership, we have overlooked the critical link between vision and the leader’s ability to powerfully communicate its essence. In the future, leaders will not only have to be effective strategists, but rhetoricians who can energize through the words they choose. The era of managing by dictate is ending and is being replaced by an era of managing by inspiration. Foremost among the new leadership skills demanded of this era will be the ability to craft and articulate a message that is highly motivational. Unfortunately, it seems that few business leaders and managers today possess such skills. To make matters worse, our business culture and educational system may even discourage these skills.

Conger examines why these skills are so critical and what the new language skills of leadership will be. He looks at how leaders through their choice of words, values, and beliefs can craft commitment and confidence in their company missions. He also explores the importance of rhetorical techniques such as stories, metaphors, and rhythm to generate excitement and enthusiasm about the leader’s message.

[PDF] Not all moods are created equal! exploring human emotional states in social media

MDCS Counts, M Gamon – 2012 – microsoft.com

Positive psychology of words

[HTML] Positive psychology interventions: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies

L Bolier, M Haverman… – BMC public …, 2013 – bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com


Building trust: Heart rate synchrony and arousal during joint action increased by public goods game

P Mitkidis, JJ McGraw, A Roepstorff, S Wallot – Physiology & behavior, 2015 – Elsevier

Building trust communities using social trust

S Nepal, W Sherchan, C Paris – International Conference on User …, 2011 – Springer

Knowledge sharing behavior in virtual communities: The relationship between trust, self-efficacy, and outcome expectations

MH Hsu, TL Ju, CH Yen, CM Chang – International journal of human- …, 2007 – Elsevier

Creating urban classroom communities worthy of trust

CD Ennis, MT McCauley – Journal of Curriculum Studies, 2002 – Taylor & Francis

Cultivating trust and harvesting value in virtual communities

CE Porter, N Donthu – Management Science, 2008 – pubsonline.informs.org

[PDF] Deliberative dialogue to expand civic engagement: What kind of talk does democracy need?

ML McCoy, PL Scully – National Civic Review, 2002 – ncdd.org

[BOOK] Philosophical papers: Volume 1, Human agency and language

C Taylor – 1985 – books.google.com

[BOOK] Language in the News: Discourse and Ideology in the Press

R Fowler – 2013 – books.google.com

[BOOK] Talking voices: Repetition, dialogue, and imagery in conversational discourse

D Tannen – 2007 – books.google.com

Rethinking dialogue in networked spaces

NC Burbules – Cultural Studies? Critical Methodologies, 2006 – journals.sagepub.com

Arguments, dialogue, and negotiation

L Amgoud, S Parsons, N Maudet – … of the 14th European Conference on …, 2000 – dl.acm.org

When social networking is not working individuals with low self-esteem recognize but do not reap the benefits of self-disclosure on Facebook

AL Forest, JV Wood – Psychological science, 2012 – pss.sagepub.com

Ostracism: The kiss of social death

KD Williams – Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2007 – Wiley Online Library

What’s in a frame? Surface evidence for underlying expectations

D Tannen – Framing in discourse, 1993 – books.google.com

Baby’s first words

Baby’s first 10 words.

T Tardif, P Fletcher, W Liang, Z Zhang… – Developmental …, 2008 – psycnet.apa.org

Negative words

Effects of oral cortisol treatment in healthy young women on memory retrieval of negative and neutral words

S Kuhlmann, C Kirschbaum, OT Wolf – Neurobiology of learning and …, 2005 – Elsevier

Recognition memory for emotionally negative and neutral words: An ERP study

EJ Maratos, K Allan, MD Rugg – Neuropsychologia, 2000 – Elsevier

Automatic vigilance for negative words is categorical and general.

Z Estes, JS Adelman – 2008 – psycnet.apa.org

Affective processing within 1/10th of a second: High arousal is necessary for early facilitative processing of negative but not positive words

MJ Hofmann, L Kuchinke, S Tamm, MLH Võ… – Cognitive, Affective, & …, 2009 – Springer

Attention to positive and negative social-evaluative words: Investigating the effects of social anxiety, trait anxiety and social threat

W Mansell, A Ehlers, D Clark, YP Chen – Anxiety, Stress & Coping, 2002 – Taylor & Francis

[HTML] Positive words carry less information than negative words

D Garcia, A Garas, F Schweitzer – EPJ Data Science, 2012 – Springer

Negative words Attentional bias

Optimism and attentional bias for negative and positive stimuli

SC Segerstrom – Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2001 – psp.sagepub.com