Dar Meshi investigates social media use, often focusing on maladaptive, problematic social media use. Social media platforms are a relatively new phenomenon, but they tap into social cognitive processes that have been hardwired into our brains over years of evolution. For example, humans are drawn to positive, rewarding social information, such as “likes” on social media. These social rewards act as reinforcers, bringing people back to social media sites repeatedly and for significant durations of time. Importantly, some individuals use social media so much that they experience an impairment in daily functioning and psychological distress, similar to substance use and other behavioral addictive disorders. Dar's research program focuses on the brain and behavior of both adults and adolescents to better understand this problematic social media use. To answer his research questions, he conducts behavioral experiments both in the lab and online. He also conducts neuroimaging experiments with an MRI scanner. Ultimately, with the knowledge gained by this research, Dar hopes to help individuals who display problematic social media use, as well as contribute to a better understanding of socially motivated human behavior.
Dar Meshi earned his B.S. in biology from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York. After his Ph.D., Dar spent some time in New York working at advertising agencies like Ogilvy and Mather. Dar then returned to academia, working as a postdoctoral scientist at Brown University and Freie Universität Berlin.
Are you interested in joining Dar's research team? The lab is currently growing and we're looking for talented individuals to conduct research. To learn more about ongoing research, check out smnlab.msu.edu, and if interested, just send an email.