Research on Difficult Conversations

Can you help with a study on difficult conversations?

Have you ever found it difficult to talk to someone about your cancer diagnosis, miscarriage, or bereavement? My research team is currently looking for people over the age of 18 who have recently (within the past 5 years) experienced one of these difficult situations (i.e., cancer diagnosis, miscarriage, bereavement). We want to understand your experiences in talking to other people about your situation, so that we can help people figure out what to say in these difficult situations. Participation involves an online survey which will take 15-25 minutes, and may help you reflect on your own experiences. Results will be posted on this page.


Research on difficult conversations:

Talking to strangers can be difficult, especially when they’re different than us, but sometimes talking to people we know can be difficult too (e.g., talking about death and dying, talking about physical or mental illness). I’m just starting my research in this area…Some of the questions I’ll be examining:

  • What fears do people have about talking to others? Is it really possible to say “the wrong things”? If so, what are they?
  • How do fears vary across people (e.g., due to individual differences) and across types of conversations
  • How do fears affect the success of a social interaction?
  • Can interventions target fears to improve the success of social interactions?

Click to access each publication and each media article. If you would like to read a paper, but can’t access it, please email me and I’d be happy to send a copy for your personal use. Click here for more resources.

Publications

Selected Media Coverage

Resources