Harry Reis, born in New York, USA, in 1949. Ph.D. from New York University. Professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester.
Theme Group Fellow (1 February 2015 – 30 April 2015)
Social Support: Channels, Contexts, Health Consequences, and Technological Applications
If people have good relationships they typically have better health. But just how do relationships improve health? We think that this works through embodied channels, like a warm, soothing touch. We will focus on how we can utilize technology to incorporate embodied channels to improve the quality of people’s relationships and health.
We know that the quality of people’s relationships is related to health. Having a good social network is as strongly or stronger related to health than classic health predictors, like obesity and smoking. But we understand only the basics of how relationships and health are related. Do relationships improve our health, and, if so, how? Members of this theme group have revealed that relationships relate to health through so-called embodied channels, like a warm, soothing touch. If this is indeed the case, how can we incorporate embodied channels into computer-mediated communication, and how can we lower the threshold through technology for those who have troubles relating?
1) Reis, H. T., Collins, W. A., & Berscheid, E. (2000). The relationship context of human behavior and development. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 844-872.
2) Reis, H. T., & Clark, M. S. (2013). Responsiveness. In J. A. Simpson & L. Campbell (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Close Relationships (pp. 400-423). New York: Oxford University Press.
3) Finkel, E. J., Eastwick, P. W., Karney, B. R., Reis, H. T., & Sprecher, S. (2012). Online dating: A critical analysis from the perspective of psychological science. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13, 3-66.