Motasem Kalaji was born and raised in Amman, Jordan. He also lived in Doha, Qatar for 11 year before moving to the U.S. to pursue his doctorate. He earned both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Communication from Cornell University, and earned a B.S. in Communication from Northwestern University in Qatar.
Motasem’s research examines the persuasive role of visual cues and strategies in public health messaging and in advertisements of unhealthy products (particularly tobacco products such as cigarettes and e-cigarettes). His recent work explores the influence of different types of visual cues (such as color) in e-cigarette advertising on key outcomes such as ad perceptions, risk perceptions, and future susceptibility to use e-cigarettes. Moreover, his work focuses on designing and testing novel and effective warning labels for tobacco product advertising and packages. Through his scholarship, he aims to better understand how tobacco advertising strategies work, and consequently design public health messaging that would counter the influence of advertising strategies.