Students realized the importance of becoming prosocial on Thursday afternoon through a remarkable presentation by Dr. Kory Floyd in the Bush Auditorium.
Floyd received a PhD in communication from the University of Arizona, where he is currently a professor in interpersonal communication. An expert on the subject, he specializes in studying how people relate and show affection in their close relationships and the importance of intimacy in our lives. He is the author of 12 books, including the textbook used in Dr. Joshua Hammond’s interpersonal communication class, Interpersonal Communication Second Edition, and the book he discussed during his visit, The Loneliness Cure: Six Strategies for Finding Real Connections in Your Life.
In an attempt to give students more insight on the topic of interpersonal communication, Professor Hammonds brought Floyd to campus. The two met when Floyd was invited as a visiting professor to come and teach an intensive graduate seminar that Hammonds took during his PhD program, “The Biology of Human Communication.” Over the course of many years, they created a lasting relationship and continue to discuss the topics of their research to this day.
Floyd began his discussion on how to be prosocial with defining prosocial communication, affection, and the importance of both topics. He stated, “Humans are social beings, certainly among the most social of all beings, yet that doesn’t always mean that we are prosocial.” He defined prosocial communication as the verbal and nonverbal messages of affection, compassion, altruism, and trust that we convey in our everyday lives. Humans require affection for satisfactory relational, mental, and physical health; without prosocial communication, our health would be depleted.
On the topic of affection, Floyd made a valid point that, as humans, we have the ability to feel affection without expressing it—yet we also have the ability to express affection that we don’t necessarily feel. He went on to describe how, in relationships, many people are manipulated by these occurrences and, sometimes, they manipulate as well. Students learned that communication can be risky, but also rewarding. Macie Sullivan stated, “Most of what Floyd talked about was discussed in class, but it was an important talk about what people needed to hear. It definitely addressed the lack of affection in society and showed that it doesn’t change what happens in a day, but definitely changes what you feel about it.”
Floyd concluded that affectionate communication for human beings is very evident as a form of prosocial communication. This is important in improving stress-buffering and overall health. After the discussion, he stayed to sign his most recent book and chat with students that had questions about his research. For more information go to www.koryfloyd.com.