Communicating Ideas Across Disciplines: The Importance of Being Understood by All

Though I have specifically targeted my research at the college student population for its implications between student mental health and pro-social behavior, my study on how our definitions of nice and kind effect how we act and the type of social environment that this creates can be applied to any person regardless of age or social situation. As I reflect on the significance of my work, I can see that it could have far reaching effects on anyone who may encounter it. Therefore, using accessible language and being flexible with describing my purpose and significance is important. I feel that my research is already accessible to general audiences to some extant as it focuses on the understandable terms, nice and kind, that many people will recognize. Especially through the recent uptick in usage by positive media, many people, not just those at the intersection of linguistics and social psychology, will hold personal definitions and schemas for these words. Though my research will lean on the two scientific fields of linguistics and psychology, with borrowed concepts from each, the core message of my research will be approachable to general audiences with the help of analogies and metaphors and using a personal or friendly tone in writings and presentations. The use of analogies or metaphors will help to make jargon and more discipline specific procedures easier to understand by general audiences and the approachable tone will allow a wide range of people to connect with the research I have conducted on a more personal level.

Though I am not completely sure what my professional goals look like beyond continuing higher education in grad school I understand that pursuing the field of linguistics will allow me to interact with many diverse and interdisciplinary audiences. If I continue to pursue research, I may be required to work with people in other academic fields such as psychology, the medical fields, anthropology, and computer sciences. Conducting research may also have me presenting findings in front of general audiences of people unassociated with linguistics. If I pursue more computational linguistics, like an internship I had with 3M MModal, I would have to work with computer scientists and or engineers, as well as health professionals and company management. Choosing to go into either higher education or teaching English as a second language would require me to talk with faculty, staff, and students alike. The scope of linguistic cross-disciplinarity is clearly far reaching and would require me to interact with a wide range of audiences with varying knowledge levels, therefore making clear communication and adaptability of conveying a message is extremely important for me.

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