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Gabrina Pounds

Senior Lecturer


Her specialist area is the expression of attitude, emotion and empathy among professionals in mainly public service roles.



Gabrina Pounds is a Senior Lecturer covering empathy and human communications skills in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies at UEA. Her specialist area is the expression of attitude, emotion and empathy among professionals in mainly public service roles – such as doctors, therapists and police officers. She has explored how the police build rapport with suspects and witnesses during formal interviews. She has also examined how hospital doctors build empathy with patients and their relatives during treatment.

Gabrina is interested in both verbal and written (mainly online communications) and in the expression of attitude, subjectivity and emotion in news and advertising. She has also looked at cross-cultural communications (between languages and nationalities). Gabrina now provides professional training in empathetic and person-centred communications for professionals - and she is working on an empathy-measuring test for use in healthcare settings.

Areas of Expertise

Person-Centred CommunicationsExpression of AttitudeHuman Communication SkillsEmpathyEmotion


University of East Anglia

Ph.D., Linguistics


University of East Anglia

B.A., German Language and Linguistics



The values of trees and woodland: a discourse-based cross-disciplinary perspective on integrating ‘revealed’evaluations of nature into environmental agendas | Critical Discourse Studies


Discourse analysis has been widely applied to the study of environmental communication, highlighting how language is used to reflect and affect our attitudes towards the natural world. The potential of discourse analysis to ‘reveal’ the values that people attribute to nature has recently been recognized in the context of environmental debates.

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An open randomized controlled trial of the effects of linguistic simplification and mediation on the comprehension of “easy read” text by people with intellectual disabilities | Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities


This trial aimed to measure the effects of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on users’ comprehension of health information provided in adapted written “easy read” material.

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Rapport-building in suspects’ police interviews: the role of empathy and face | Pragmatics and Society


Both research and police guidelines acknowledge the value of rapport-building in police interview with suspects (ISs) and provide some insight into how ‘rapport’ may be defined and built in this context. Rapport is, however, difficult to operationalise and assess in practice, other than for the routine legal clarification offered to suspects at the beginning of the interview.

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Presupposed evaluation in environmental argumentative discourse | Functions of Language


This paper shows how a novel perspective on the analysis of evaluation in argumentative discourse may be used to explore the values that underlie environmental debates, claims and policies. Expressions of evaluation in discourse have been studied from a number of different perspectives, all highlighting the fact that evaluation may be expressed cumulatively, through a combination of different linguistic means, and pragmatically, at various levels of implicitness, which often defy precise categorization.

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Expression of empathy in a Facebook-based diabetes support group | Discourse, Context & Media


Existing studies show that people suffering from chronic illnesses turn to online health communities not only to share and check relevant factual information but also to receive and express empathy from/to their fellow sufferers. Indeed, along with seeking and providing advice from and to others, expressions of social support, including empathic features, have been found to be central to discourse in online support groups (OSGs).

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