Kory Floyd

STA 335D

Research interests:

physiology, affection, family communication and nonverbal communication

Kory Floyd studies the communication of affection in close relationships. He is especially interested in why affection feels good and how it is good for us. His work shows that people's mental health, physical health, and relationships are all improved by affectionate communication. He has found that highly affectionate people sleep better, have stronger immune systems, experience less depression, and recover more quickly from stress. In his current studies, he is exploring whether receiving affection is an effective way to reduce pain.


Dr. Floyd is also interested in why some people are more affectionate than others. He studies this by examining the interplay of family upbringing with specific genes related to emotion, empathy, and compassion. A consistent theme throughout his teaching, research, and writing is the strong connection between communication, physiology and health.

Select publications:

Floyd, K. (2006). Communicating affection: Interpersonal behavior and social context. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.


Floyd, K., Mikkelson, A. C., Tafoya, M. A., Farinelli, L., La Valley, A. G., Judd, J., Davis, K. L., Haynes, M. T., & Wilson, J. (2007). Human affection exchange: XIV. Relational affection predicts resting heart rate and free cortisol secretion during acute stress. Behavioral Medicine, 32, 151-156.


Floyd, K., & Riforgiate, S. (2008). Affectionate communication received from spouses predicts stress hormone levels in healthy adults. Communication Monographs, 75, 351-368.


Floyd, K., Pauley, P. M., & Hesse, C. (2010). State and trait affectionate communication buffer adults’ stress reactions. Communication Monographs, 77, 618-636.


Hesse, C., Floyd, K., Rauscher, E. A., Frye-Cox, N., Hegarty, J., & Peng, H. (2013). Alexithymia and impairment of decoding positive affect: An fMRI study. Journal of Communication, 63, 786-806.


Additional links:

Communication Sciences Laboratory

Dr. Floyd's books


Society of Behavioral Medicine

International Association for Relationship Research

Society for Personality and Social Psychology