Kenneth A. Lachlan


Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2003


Kenneth A. Lachlan is Professor and Department Head in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut, and the Editor of Communication Studies. Prior to joining UConn in 2015, Ken was the Founding Chair of the Communication Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He holds research affiliations with UConn’s Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention and Policy, and the Communication and Social Robotics Laboratory at Western Michigan University. His current research interests include the functions and effects of social media during crises and disasters, and the use of social robotics in delivering risk messages.

Courses Taught

  • Comm 5895: Special Topics: Crisis and Risk Communication (graduate level)
  • Comm 3000Q: Research Methods in Communication
  • Comm 3300: Effects of Mass Media
  • Comm 5002: Research Methods (graduate level)

Research Interests

  • Psychological Effects of Mass Media
  • Emergency and Crisis Communication
  • Risk Communication
  • Information Seeking and Uncertainty Reduction
  • Social Robotics

Research Affiliations

UConn Video Game and Media Effects Laboratory

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

Western Michigan University Social Robotics Laboratory

Select Publications

Lachlan, K.A., McIntyre, J.J., & Spence, P.R., (2015). Responding to a campus emergency: The effect of alert sources on learning, message speed, and perceptions of campus safety. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. In press.

Lachlan, K.A., Spence, P.R., Lin, X., Najarian, K., & Del Greco, M. (2015). Social media and crisis management: CERC, search strategies, and Twitter content. Computers in Human Behavior. In Press.

Lachlan, K.A., Spence, P.R., Lin, X., & Del Greco, M. (2014). Screaming into the wind: Twitter use during Hurricane Sandy. Communication Studies, 65 (5), 500-518.

Lachlan, K.A., Spence, P.R., Lin, X., Del Greco, M., & Najarian, K. (2014). Twitter use during a weather event: Comparing content associated with localized and non-localized hashtags. Communication Studies, 65 (5), 519-534.

Lachlan, K.A., Spence, P.R., & Lin, X. (2014). Expressions of risk awareness and concern through Twitter: On the utility of using the medium as an indication of audience needs. Computers in Human Behavior, 35 (2), 554-559.

Lachlan, K.A., & Spence, P.R., (2014). Does message placement influence risk perception and affect? Journal of Communication Management, 18 (2), 122-130.

Lachlan, K.A., Spence, P.R., Edwards, C., Reno, K., & Edwards, A. (2014). If you are quick enough, I’ll think about it: Information speed and trust in public health organizations. Computers in Human Behavior, 33 (2), 377-380.

Lachlan, K.A., & Spence, P.R. (2011). Crisis communication and the underserved: The case for partnering with institutions of faith. Journal of Applied Communication Research. 39 (4), 448-451.

Lachlan, K.A., & Spence, P.R. (2010). Communicating risks: Examining Hazard and Outrage in multiple contexts. Risk Analysis, 30 (12), 1872-1886.

Lachlan, K.A., Spence, P.R., & Nelson, L. (2010). Gender differences in negative psychological responses to crisis news: The case of the I-35W collapse. Communication Research Reports. 27 (1), 38-48.

Curriculum Vitae