Talking man to man

Ben Walters

They say women are great at sharing their problems and talking with each other, but what aboutthe men?

Getting to the heart of how men really communicate with each other is the focus of new researchat Griffith University.

Conducted by Psychology PhD candidate Ben Walters from Griffith Health Institute’sBehaviourial Basis of Health program, the online study is surveying men aged between 20 and60 with questionnaires. The survey asks questions regarding scenarios that men may commonlyfind themselves in.

“Much disagreement exists in the current scientific literature regarding the different ways thatpeople communicate and, more specifically, the ways that men communicate with each other,”says Mr Walters. “There are theories of mateship and strong bonds between men, but otherstereotypes allude to men generally not having any close friendships, so this area is poorlyunderstood by researchers.

“The aim of this research is to investigate these issues further and bring the literature on this areaup to date. We’re aiming to discover what kinds of communication methods men use with eachother as society changes and as the interest in mens’ health is brought more into focus.

“It is believed that men often under-utilise available healthcare services. Therefore it is hoped thatby furthering understanding of mens’communication styles, the knowledge gained can informmens’ health marketing and advertising campaigns to increase uptake of healthcare services.”

Additionally, Mr Walters says that the research may also be able to inform ways of makingtherapy and counselling services more congruent with men’s natural communication styles.

“If we can develop a better understanding about the ways that men communicate naturally withone another, we can apply that to professional health settings to assist men in being more
comfortable in this domain.”

‘The Man Talk — Attitudes about Friendship and Interpersonal Communication’ study is currentlymid way through and still actively recruiting participants for its online survey.

Interested people are invited to contact Mr Walters at Griffith’s School of Psychology on 07 37353383 or email [email protected]. Alternatively they can visit

Researchers are offering men who complete the survey the chance to win one of two $150 gift cards to a store of their choice.