Mass Media, Research Findings ,

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Sriram “Sri” Kalyanaraman

Fun fact: The concept for the Interdisciplinary Health Communications program at UNC was conceptualized when a reading group of UNC academics met to discuss a 2005 Psychological Science journal article about the communication of Mad Cow disease. The article inspired the reading group, comprised of Dr. Noel Brewer, Dr. Melanie Green, Dr. Jane Brown & Dr. Sri Kalyanaraman, to discuss the possibility of combining talent from different disciplines on campus. A few years later, and with the help of many more faculty members, the IHC program was launched.

This story was shared earlier this week by Dr. Sriram “Sri” Kalyanaraman, associate professor and director of the Media Effects Laboratory at UNC Chapel Hill.

Sri received a degree in engineering from Mysore University in India and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in mass communication, with a focus on technology, marketing, psychology and statistics from Penn State University. He came to Carolina in 2002.

Dr. Kalyanaraman claims that his main interests center around a term he has dubbed his “CINs” – customization, interactivity and navigability. Specifically, his research interests examine the psychology of human-technology interaction and social and marketing effects of sexual and violent messages, as well as persuasive health messages. He is currently researching virtual simulations of schizophrenia and the effects on interactivity of information. He is also working on a project creating customized virtual avatars to show health effect, as well as publishing a book on personalization.

Sri has published articles on Web portals and empirical studies on psychosocial effects of Web-based customization, Web navigability and interactive technologies. He also studies information processing of persuasive health messages as well as social and marketing effects of sexual and violent content. His work has been published in numerous journals and he currently serves as co-editor of the journal Media Psychology.

Dr. Kalyanaraman teaches both undergraduate and graduate-level courses on human-technology interaction, process and effects of mass communication, electronic information sources, e-commerce and digital marketing, quantitative research methods and experimental design and analysis, and psychology of communication technology.

The Interdisciplinary Health Communications program is truly privileged to have Sri on our team.