Saraswathi Bellur


Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 2012


Saras Bellur is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. Situated in the broad area of media effects paradigm, her research involves understanding the psychological and physiological effects of interactive media on key communication processes and outcomes. Her work adopts an interdisciplinary approach by combining theories from various disciplines such as media effects, human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-mediated communication (CMC), social cognition and health communication.

Courses Taught

  • COMM 5660: Computer-Mediated Communication
  • COMM 4660W: Computer-Mediated Communication
  • COMM 1300: Introduction to Mass Media Systems

Research Interests

  • the concept of interactivity and its effect on users’ evaluation of media interfaces, mediated content and user engagement
  • the effect of interactive health technologies and their influence on attitudes toward preventive and proactive health behaviors
  • the role of psychophysiological responses [heart-rate (ECG), skin conductance (EDA), and brain-wave (EEG)] in understanding user responses to different forms of media and mediated content

Research Affiliations

UConn Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory

UConn InCHIP (Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy)

Select Publications

Bellur, S., & Sundar, S. S. (2017). Talking health with a machine: How does message interactivity affect attitudes & cognitions? Human Communication
Research, 43,
25-53. doi:10.1111/hcre.12094

Sundar, S. S., Bellur, S., Oh, J., Jia, H., & Kim, H. S. (2016). Theoretical importance of contingency in human-computer interaction: Effects of message interactivity on user engagement. Communication Research, 43 (3), 595-625.  Doi: 10.1177/0093650214534962

Oh, J., Bellur, S., & Sundar, S. S. (2015). Clicking, assessing, immersing and sharing: An empirical model of user engagement with interactive media. Communication Research, 1-27. Doi: 10.1177/0093650215600493

Bellur, S., Nowak, K. L., & Hull, K. (2015). Make it our time: In class multitaskers have lower academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior, 53, 63-70.

Dardis, F. E., Schmierbach, M., Ahern, L., Fraustino, J., Bellur, S., Brooks, S., & Johnson, J. (2015). The effects of in-game Virtual Direct Experience (VDE) on reactions to real-world brands. Journal of Promotion Management, 21, 313–334. Doi:10.1080/10496491.2015.1021503

Kim, K., Schmierbach, M. G., Bellur, S., Chung, M-Y., Fraustino, J. D., Dardis, F., & Ahern, L. (2015). Is it a sense of autonomy, control, or attachment? Exploring the effects of in-game customization on game enjoyment. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 695-705.

Bellur, S., & Sundar, S. S. (2014). How can we tell when a heuristic has been used? Design and analysis strategies for capturing the operation of heuristics. Communication Methods and Measures, 8 (2), 116-137. Doi:10.1080/19312458.2014.903390

Sundar, S. S., Bellur, S., Oh, J., Xu, Q., & Jia, H. (2014). User experience of on-screen interaction techniques: An experimental investigation of clicking, sliding, zooming, hovering, dragging, and flipping. Human–Computer Interaction, 29 (2), 109-152. Doi:10.1080/07370024.2013.789347

High, A., Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., Bellur, S. (2014) Misery doesn’t get company: The influence of emotional bandwidth on supportive communication in Facebook. Computers in Human Behavior, 34, 79-88. Doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.01.037

Curriculum Vitae