Dr. James W. Pennebaker, a University of Texas at Austin psychology professor and world-renowned expert on the relationship between language and physical and psychological health, discussed the influence of biomedical research during a visit Tuesday, Jan. 22 to The University of Texas-Pan American.
In the hour-long presentation, "What Our Words Can Say About Us," Pennebaker explained how biomedical research has proven people who have had a series of traumatic events during their lives can sometimes indicate how traumatic those events affected them by studying their own written interpretation of that experience. However, writing about those experiences, such as in a daily journal, is not always the best way to deal with negative situations or emotions.
Instead, Pennebaker said studying people's writings or even their spoken words works in improving their physical and psychological health.
"It helps people come to terms or move past times of turmoil," he said. "it also helps them clear up their mind and integrate with other people better socially."
Pennebaker's presentation was hosted by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Psychology and Anthropology.