UAH Department of Communication Arts welcomes Distinguished Speaker Dr. James M. Honeycutt


Internationally recognized communications professor, James M. Honeycutt will be the guest speaker for the UAH Distinguished Speaker Series on Sept. 8.

Internationally recognized communications professor, James M. Honeycutt will be the guest speaker for The University of Alabama in Huntsville's (UAH) Distinguished Speaker Series on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Honeycutt will give the public lecture "Effects of Playful and Hurtful Teasing on Self Esteem and Mental Imagery," at 4:30 p.m., in the M. Louis Salmon Library. His visit to campus is sponsored by the UAH Department of Communication Arts. The UAH Distinguished Speaker Series is co-sponsored by the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. James M. Honeycutt is a Distinguished Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences in Communication Studies at Louisiana State University (LSU) Baton Rouge, internationally known for his work in relationship scripts and daydreaming , particularly imagined interaction conflict-linkage theory which explains why it is hard to forget old arguments, let alone forgive.

"People have imagined interactions in their minds in daily life in the form of functional and dysfunctional daydreaming," said Honeycutt. "For example, you could imagine before a job interview what the interviewer will ask you and how you will respond. So, you are rehearsing your response in your mind. A dysfunctional example is keeping conflict alive in your mind; hence the maxim, 'I can forgive, but not forget'." Conflict is experienced internally within the human mind, added Honeycutt.

He went on to say, that imagined interactions are portrayed in TV and movies in terms of visual and verbal "flashbacks" that characters have. "Imagined interaction theory explains how and why we daydream about significant others."

On the question of forgiveness, Honeycutt said, "It's hard to forgive because of rumination.

"Rumination happens when you become 'flooded' with recurring thoughts about old arguments, disagreements, and grievances. You rehash these in your mind. You recall the precipitating events and become enveloped with them because comparison alternatives are limited," Honeycutt explained. "For example, you have an ongoing disagreement with a colleague, yet you have to work with them. Some people show resiliency and cope well while others do not because of limited resources including the Big 5 personality traits (openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism). My guest lecture at UAH will center on the impact of playful and hurtful teasing from the teaser's point of view as they tease and use imagined interactions to plan the teasing. Teasing occurs in all domains; work, home, school, political ads and on and on," he said.

Honeycutt is the recipient of numerous research awards including the Distinguished Book of the Year in 2006 by the social cognition division of the National Communication Association for his book on imagined interactions. He is the author of several books on the subjects of relationships and imagined interactions.

Additionally, he is the co-editor of Imagination, Cognition, and Personality along with Robert Kunzendorf of The University of Massachusetts. Honeycutt currently teaches classes at LSU focusing on emotion and communication, relationships, family dynamics, and imagined interactions. He is a member of several social science journal editorial boards. Honeycutt has lectured throughout the United States and Thailand to academics and business groups. He earned a PhD in Communication from The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

UAH alumna Katherine Bryant (BA, Communication Arts '15) is pursuing fast-track Master's and PhD degrees at LSU, and is currently working on several projects with Honeycutt. Bryant and Dr. Pavica Sheldon (UAH Assistant Professor, Communication Arts) co-wrote and presented a paper at a recent LSU conference dealing with social media and communication titled "Motives for Online Mobile Dating."

For more information about Honeycutt's visit to the UAH campus, please contact Dr. Pavica Sheldon, at


UAH Department of Communication Arts
Dr. Pavica Sheldon


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