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Positive Communication Research

Positive communication research formally began in 2012 with the publication of Tom Socha and Margaret Pitts's edited volume: The positive side of interpersonal communication. Since then a number of key works have been published, including Pitts and Socha's (2014) follow up volume focusing on positive communication and health. In 2014, Mirivel (2014) published the first textbook (The art of positive communication: Theory and Practice) focusing specifically on positive communication practice. in 2015, Beck and Socha (2015) focused on hope and resilience. And in 2018, Muñiz-Velázquez and Pulido (2018) offered a cross-disciplinary handbook of positive communication, featuring scholars across the spectrum of both human and mass communication. In 2023, Mirivel and Fuller are welcoming papers for a special issue on positive communication scholarship for the International Journal of Business Communication (Click here for view the call for papers)

Positive Communication Scholarship has four features:

1.  It is a rigorous scientific inquiry into the nature of communication excellence.

2. It focuses on both process and outcomes and is designed to generate new knowledge.

3. It takes an affirmative stance.

4. It cultivates communication praxis.

There are a number of ongoing projects. We feature some of them here. For more information, check out:

- Our positive communication bibliography.

- A review article on positive communication by Socha & Beck (2018)

Positive communication and personal transformation

In a five-year partnership with global nonprofit Heifer International, Mirivel and his team are exploring how men and women develop their communication competency as they partner with Heifer to end poverty in their own lives and in the live of their community. To learn more, visit


Meaningful Employment in the Public Sector

Recent research by Tom Socha and a number of graduate students at Old Dominion University are exploring the communication obstacles that LGBTQIA individuals are facing in the workplace. 

Working Together

Positive Communication & Organizational Culture: Building the Care for Healthcare Professionals

Dr. Amy Young (University of Michigan) is currently involved in an ongoing positive communication and culture change initiative within Michigan Medicine, the University of Michigan’s academic medical center.  The project involves advising numerous leadership teams on positive communication and organizational practices and evaluating their impact on healthcare professionals’ wellbeing, engagement and retention.  Research from this project continues to be disseminated through peer review medical journals and professional conferences and is being heralded as a tangible, low-cost solution to the national crisis on burnout and retention among healthcare professionals.


Generations over Dinner

A Modern Elder Academy (

A global project to gather the world's seven generations at dinner tables around the world to communicate about the future and more. Intended as a positive global social intervention to combat ageism and improve intergenerational relationships. In partnership with MEA, Chip Conley (MEA Founder), and Michael Hebb (creator of Death Over Dinner). Contact: Dr. Thomas Socha, Professor, Old Dominion University,

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