image of people in communicology department talking
image of people in communicology department talking


Creating Understanding

How do people create understanding? How does communication work? How does communication change as people have more or less shared knowledge? Faculty and students in the Department of Communicology study human communication in a number of areas.

Intercultural Communication

How are people from different cultures similar and different, in terms of how they think about themselves (self-construal) and their communication? How do conversational styles differ for people of different cultural orientations?

Intergroup Communication

How does viewing ourselves and other people in terms of social identity (e.g., shared group memberships such as age, gender, ethnicity, and religion) influence communication?

Nonverbal Communication

What is the role of nonverbal behavior in evoking meaning and influencing others? How do nonverbal behaviors assist in the synchrony, adaptation, and coordination of interaction between people?

Conflict and Relational Management

When are apologies more effective during conflicts? What factors contribute to more productive and satisfying conflict discussions in relationships?


How do we deceive others by what we communicate and avoid communicating? What are the relational and emotional outcomes associated with deceptive communication? How is deception detected?

Communication and Aging

What kind of communication is associated with experiences of successful aging? What is the role of communication in people's understanding of what it “means” to get older? How can we foster more positive and empowering attitudes about getting older through communication?

Family Communication

How do individuals develop, maintain, enhance, or undermine family relationships, through communication? How are family dynamics related to individuals' well-being?

Health Communication

How do we construct persuasive messages to prevent disease, reduce the risk of serious illness, and promote health? How do we create effective health communication campaigns?

Communication and Body Image

What is the role of communication in the development and maintenance of body image issues? How is interpersonal communication associated with individuals' body image and appearance management behaviors?

Communication and Artificial Intelligence

How do we become attached to our virtual assistants? Do we interact differently with virtual assistants? What are differences between conversations with actual persons and virtual persons?

Online Communication

What factors determine the credibility of a person or an argument in an online context (e.g., e-commerce settings and social media)? What are the mechanisms behind such impacts? How is online communication similar and different from offline communication? What is the role of online communication in relationship development? How can online communication or virtual teams enhance health outcomes?


All research involving human participants is overseen by the Human Studies Program of the University of Hawaiʻi System.

For more information about this program, including applying for IRB (Institutional Research Board) approval to carry out a study, and learning more about the rights of research participants, please use the following link:
Program Here


Research participation in the Department of Communicology is managed through the Sona System. Visit this site to sign up for an account, see current research opportunities, and participate in studies.
Participate Here


Additional resources on campus to support student and faculty research include:

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

Graduate Student Organization (GSO) Grants & Awards


The Department of Communicology has a dedicated lab space used to conduct research studies. It includes areas with space for dyadic and group interaction with available recording equipment; multiple computers with a range of software programs (e.g., LIWC, DirectRT, and Perception Analyzer); and media equipment.
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