Rhana Hashemi is a Ph.D. student in Social Psychology conducting social-belonging and stereotype threat research with Dr. Greg Walton. She is focused on improving the lives of students who use drugs by understanding and repairing the relationship they form with their schools and authority figures. Rhana hopes to design interventions that promote connection and reduce bias, as alternatives to school suspension. She holds a M.S in Community Health Prevention Research from Stanford School of Medicine and a B.A in Social Welfare with honors from UC Berkeley. Previous research has focused on cognitive dissonance theory, prevention messaging, social media, and adolescent substance use.

Education & Certifications

  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, Social Welfare (2016)
  • M.S., Stanford School of Medicine, Community Health Prevention Research (2022)

Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • Adolescents' perceptions of substance use messaging in the age of social media: resolving cognitive dissonance. Health education research Hashemi, R., Vogel, E. A. 2024


    This study interviewed adolescents about their exposure to and perceptions of substance-related social media content and substance use prevention messages. Participants (analytic sample Nā€‰=ā€‰30, age 14-18 years, in CA, USA, 40% male) were recruited from Instagram and Facebook for online semi-structured interviews. An interview transcript coding guide was developed based on the interview questions and emerging themes. Most (27/30) participants reported exposure to peers using substances on social media through posts made on personal accounts. All peer posts portrayed substance use in a positive light. Most participants reported exposure to formal prevention messages on social media (i.e. public service announcements) (19/30) and in schools (i.e. drug education) (21/30; 70.0%) teaching the negative consequences of substance use. Responses to the differences between peer posts and prevention messages included dismissing prevention messages (7/30), believing that their peers were more credible (4/30), desiring comprehensive substance information (3/30) and believing that the no-use message was ineffective for at-risk youth (4/30). Messages shared by peers online significantly contrasted with prevention messages (i.e. public service announcements and drug education). This difference appeared to undermine prevention message credibility. Balanced prevention messages acknowledging the spectrum of risk and reward when using different substances may reduce dissonance and increase engagement.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/her/cyad046

    View details for PubMedID 38183674

  • Adolescents' Perceptions of Nicotine Vaping-Related Social Media Content PSYCHOLOGY OF POPULAR MEDIA Vogel, E. A., Hashemi, R., Ramo, D. E., Darrow, S. M., Costello, C., Prochaska, J. J. 2023

    View details for DOI 10.1037/ppm0000452

    View details for Web of Science ID 001009902900001