Three University of Alabama professors have been awarded a grant of more than $300,000 from the National Science Foundation to study the relationship between communication and physiological responses in intimate partnerships.
The study is a collaborative work of Drs. Sonya Pritzker and Jason DeCaro, of the department of anthropology, and Dr. Josh Pederson, of the department of communication studies.
DeCaro, Pederson and Pritzker will observe 50 couples by combining nine hours of in-home video observation with moment-to-moment monitoring of activity in the autonomic nervous system as well as multiple, in-depth interviews of the observed couples.
“We think the way romantic partners interact on a daily basis contributes to individual and relational health,” said Pederson, UA assistant professor of communication studies. “This grant allows us to study how these processes happen in real-time outside of laboratory environments.”
The study will use monitoring technology, saliva test kits and video recording to analyze emotion communication and physiological responses of couples.