Robbins’ research seeks to understand how people’s daily social interactions are related to their health and well-being. Her focus is on the role of expressive behaviors (e.g., word use, sighing, laughing) in the coping process. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Arizona.
On Pronoun usage
Robbins says whether people use “we talk” – we us, our – or “I” talk offers insight into whether people see themselves as individuals or as part of a whole. “Word use is a window into what people are thinking and feeling without asking them,” Robbins said. Her research has included a study of marital happiness among couples with a partner who has had breast cancer.
On Couples and relationships
Robbins’ research addresses the impact of nonverbal communication – such as sighs – and “we talk” vs. “I talk” in terms of how it impacts relationships.
On Nonverbal communication
Robbins looks for the “tells” people employ in communication that help reveal their thoughts and feelings, including laughing and sighing.
Robbins is an expert on the interpersonal consequences of swearing.