Bharathy is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication at Cornell University.  She is deeply committed to research centered around designing, implementing, and sustaining behavioral interventions that champion systems of social equity.

Central to her research is the ​interplay of identity and context, and how these elements shape individual, community, and societal perceptions of the world. Through this lens, Bharathy's work provides insights into the efficacy of interventions, strategies, and policies that optimize equity within educational, health, and workplace settings.  To advance her work, Bharathy deploys a comprehensive research toolkit, encompassing experiments, systematic reviews, interviews, focus group discussions, and surveys.

With foundational and advanced degrees in Economics, Psychology, and Communication, Bharathy’s educational trajectory stands testament to a truly interdisciplinary approach to her research. Recognizing that impactful research thrives in collaboration, Bharathy is keen on forging ties with academics and policymakers, bringing her unique interdisciplinary perspective and insights to the table.




Identity & Context

How does identity and context shape how people, communities, and societies make sense of the world ?

Intervention & Implementation

How can evidence-based interventions and policies be crafted with equity at its core? 

Organizations & Technology

How can organizations meaningfully embody equitable systems? And, in our evolving digital landscape, how do technological interventions shape societal equity— both its opportunities and challenges?

peer-reviewed publications ​& reports 

Premachandra, B., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2022). Do We Report the Information that is Necessary to Give Psychology Away? A Scoping Review of the Psychological Intervention Literature 2000-2018. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 17(1), 226-238. 


Psychologists are spending a considerable amount of time researching and developing interventions, in hopes that our efforts can help to tackle some of society’s pressing problems. Unfortunately, those hopes are often not realized—many interventions are developed and reported in our journals but do not make their way into the broader world they were designed to change. One potential reason for this is that there may be a gap between the information reported in our papers, and the information others, such as practitioners, need to implement our findings. We explored this possibility in the current paper. We conducted a scoping review to assess the extent to which the information needed for implementation is reported in psychological intervention papers. Results suggest psychological intervention papers report, at most, 64% of the information needed to implement interventions. We discuss the implications of this for both psychological theories and applying them in the world.

Tepper, S. J., Spruill, M. K., Premachandra, B., & Lewis Jr, N. A. (2022). Surveys as conversations between makers and takers: A conversational framework for assessing and responding to community needs. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy22(3), 857-875.


Surveys, commonly employed in the social and behavioral sciences, are practical tools that can be used to assess the needs and attitudes of a given population. If not implemented in thoughtful ways, however, surveys can be inefficient or even harmful. With surveys often informing critical policy decisions, survey administrators must make careful methodological choices in order to obtain meaningful results and make sound decisions. In this paper, we review the social scientific literature on survey administration to aid policymakers, practitioners, and other survey administrators in understanding their position, identifying their participants, and establishing a plan for their surveys. We provide an overarching framework for survey design, guided by the idea that surveys are conversations between administrators and participants, in order to help creators of surveys make better decisions and engage more effectively with the communities they serve.

Von Suchodoletz, A., Lee, D. S., Henry, J., Tamang, S., Premachandra, B., & Yoshikawa, H. (2023). Early childhood education and care quality and associations with child outcomes: A meta-analysis. Plos one18(5), e0285985.


The effectiveness of early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs for children’s development in various domains is well documented. Adding to existing meta-analyses on associations between the quality of ECEC services and children’s developmental outcomes, the present meta-analysis synthesizes the global literature on structural characteristics and indicators of process quality to test direct and moderated effects of ECEC quality on children’s outcomes across a range of domains. A systematic review of the literature published over a 10-year period, between January 2010 and June 2020 was conducted, using the databases PsychInfo, Eric, EbscoHost, and Pubmed. In addition, a call for unpublished research or research published in the grey literature was sent out through the authors’ professional network. The search yielded 8,932 articles. After removing duplicates, 4,880 unique articles were identified. To select articles for inclusion, it was determined whether studies met eligibility criteria: (1) study assessed indicators of quality in center-based ECEC programs catering to children ages 0–6 years; and (2) study assessed child outcomes. Inclusion criteria were: (1) a copy of the full article was available in English; (2) article reported effect size measure of at least one quality indicator-child outcome association; and (3) measures of ECEC quality and child outcomes were collected within the same school year. A total of 1,044 effect sizes reported from 185 articles were included. The averaged effects, pooled within each of the child outcomes suggest that higher levels of ECEC quality were significantly related to higher levels of academic outcomes (literacy, n = 99: 0.08, 95% C.I. 0.02, 0.13; math, n = 56: 0.07, 95% C.I. 0.03, 0.10), behavioral skills (n = 64: 0.12, 95% C.I. 0.07, 0.17), social competence (n = 58: 0.13, 95% C.I. 0.07, 0.19), and motor skills (n = 2: 0.09, 95% C.I. 0.04, 0.13), and lower levels of behavioral (n = 60: -0.12, 95% C.I. -0.19, -0.05) and social-emotional problems (n = 26: -0.09, 95% C.I. -0.15, -0.03). When a global assessment of child outcomes was reported, the association with ECEC quality was not significant (n = 13: 0.02, 95% C.I. -0.07, 0.11). Overall, effect sizes were small. When structural and process quality indicators were tested separately, structural characteristics alone did not significantly relate to child outcomes whereas associations between process quality indicators and most child outcomes were significant, albeit small. A comparison of the indicators, however, did not yield significant differences in effect sizes for most child outcomes. Results did not provide evidence for moderated associations. We also did not find evidence that ECEC quality-child outcome associations differed by ethnic minority or socioeconomic family background. Despite the attempt to provide a synthesis of the global literature on ECEC quality-child outcome associations, the majority of studies included samples from the U.S. In addition, studies with large samples were also predominately from the U.S. Together, the results might have been biased towards patterns prevalent in the U.S. that might not apply to other, non-U.S. ECEC contexts. The findings align with previous meta-analyses, suggesting that ECEC quality plays an important role for children’s development during the early childhood years. Implications for research and ECEC policy are discussed.

Yeh, J. C., Premachandra, B., Lewis Jr, N. A., Niederdeppe, J., & Jernigan, D. H. (2023). Identities, drinking behaviors and cancer beliefs among African-American and White American adults: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 1-22.


.Alcohol consumption is causally linked to multiple cancers. African-Americans are at greater risk of cancer than other demographic groups and suffer more serious consequences. Awareness and knowledge of the alcohol-cancer link are low, especially among African-Americans compared to other racial/ethnic groups. This study built on the theory of identity-based motivation (TIBM) to explore how people think about alcohol consumption in relation to their social identities and beliefs about cancer. Data come from 20 in-depth interviews with current drinkers (10 White and 10 African-American adults) in a major mid-Atlantic city in the summer of 2021, using race- and gender-concordant interviewers. An abductive and iterative approach identified salient themes about how drinkers thought about alcohol, social identities, and cancer. While most participants discussed alcohol use as an important part of American culture, African-American participants were more likely to discuss drinking as a way to cope with racism and other hardships. Participants also noted the need to address structural issues that would make it difficult to cut back on drinking. Both White and African-American participants talked about stressors in life that drive them to drink and make cutting back difficult, and African-American participants discussed how the location of liquor stores in their neighborhoods made alcohol too readily available. Insights from these interviews confirm the relevance of racial and other identities in shaping responses to alcohol-cancer messaging, and emphasize the need to consider both behavior change and policy change to create supportive environments for such changes.[PDF]

Premachandra, B., & Filabi, A. (2018, January). Under Pressure: Wells Fargo, Misconduct, Leadership, and Culture. Retrieved from and-culture. 


This case study, created by Bharathy Premachandra, our 2017 Bryan Turner Intern in Business Ethics, with Azish Filabi, Executive Director of Ethical Systems, spotlights the lessons learned from the recent scandal at Wells Fargo around false accounts, inflated sales targets and misguided directives from bank executives. Under Pressure takes a candid look at the factors contributing to the scandal that wound up costing the bank hundreds of millions in fines, a shakeup in leadership, and on-going  bad press that deeply tarnished their reputation and standing. By viewing actions through an ethical culture and leadership model, the case study examines the formal and informal systems that likely motivated the scandal, and includes perspectives on how an ethical culture could identify, or mitigate, some early warning signals.

Von   Suchodoletz, A., Lee, S., Premachandra, B., & Yoshikawa, H. (2018, January). Associations among quality indicators in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and relations with child development and learning: A Meta-Analysis. A report submitted to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD]


Over the past decades, policy attention on early education services has increased globally, shifting the focus from access toward quality of educational services to promote lifelong learning which is crucial to reduce inequalities. Although there is a fast-growing body of research indicating that high quality of educational provisions is essential for children’s development and learning, defining quality in education and its dimensions remains a challenge in terms of the methodology in research and the formulation of policy to enhance quality. The first goal of the meta-analysis was therefore to identify key indicators of quality in early childhood education and care (ECEC) in the areas of structural and process quality and their associations, with a focus on the 3- to 6-year age group. The second goal was to examine associations between the key indicators of structural and process quality and child development and learning. In addition, by including an international pool of studies in the meta-analysis, variations in the strength of associations across and within countries were explored for both goals. The literature retrieval of relevant studies and the study selection build on recent OECD initiatives on quality in ECEC. Following a heavily structured procedure of data extraction, 44 studies were coded, thereby gathering knowledge about 3,110 ECEC staff and 16,386 children. The results of the meta-analysis confirmed variations in the strength of associations between key indicators of ECEC quality. In addition, associations between indicators of process quality and children’s learning in two important developmental domains, emerging literacy/numeracy and behavioural/social competencies, were found, but no direct overall association of structural quality indicators with children’s development and learning. Our results imply that enhancing ECEC quality is beneficial for all children, including children from disadvantaged milieus. 


Cho, J. Y., Premachandra, B., Kizilcec, R., & Lewis Jr, N. (under review). Classroom contexts, student mindsets, and (in) equity in computer science: A national longitudinal study.


Improving the underrepresentation of women and racial minorities in computer science requires a holistic understanding of how early experiences and mindsets in K-12 classrooms influence decisions to pursue careers in computing. We conducted a national longitudinal study of students in advanced placement computer science courses to understand how student mindsets (belonging, personal relevance, math/intelligence mindset) impact behavioral engagement, how their mindsets evolve over time, and how contextual factors at the teacher, classroom, and school level can influence these temporal dynamics. We find that mindsets differentially impact engagement and vary with gender and race. Some mindsets change over time due to performance feedback, and these changes affect subsequent engagement and performance. Class characteristics (e.g., class size, gender ratio) and school characteristics (e.g., share of low-income and racially underrepresented students) moderate the effect of mindsets on performance. Our findings have implications for learning theories and equity-focused educational practices.  

Buchanan, E. M., Cavagnaro, D., Premachandra, B., Lewis Jr, N., Taylor, V. J., Urry, H. L., & Forscher, P. S. (2023). The Challenges and Payoffs of In-person Big-team Science.


The trend for large-scale collaboration has the potential to improve researcher, cultural, and participant diversity. Conducting in-person research requires the examination of challenges and payoffs of competing priorities in what constitutes 'good' research. We describe these challenges and potential resolutions and payoffs in advancing big-team science.

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Ph.D. ​Communication, Cornell University (in progress).
M.S. Communication, Cornell University.
 Psychology, New York University.
B.Sc. (Hons), Financial Economics, Essex University.




  • Data Analysis in Practice
  • Methods of Communication Research
  • Principles of Demography
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Communication
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Science Communication
  • Statistical Methods for Behavioral Science

Institutional Affiliation: Graduate coursework at Cornell University​ & New York University


  • Advanced Communication Theory
  • Theory Construction
  • Organizational Communication: Theory & Practice


  • Advanced Social Psychology
  • Affective
  • Neuroscience
  • Attitudes & Social Judgement
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Culture Thought & Emotion
  • Love & Attachment in Adult Relationships
  • Moral Psychology
  • Person Perception
  • Psychology of Social Media
  • Social Stigma
  • Studies in Communication

teaching assistantships

  • Cases in Communication
  • Intergroup Dialogue- Gender & National Origin
  • Introduction to Communication Studies
  • Oral Communication
  • Persuasion & Social Influence



  • Research Methods & Experience


  • Social Work Research
  • Practice & Program Evaluation in Social Work

Institutional Affiliation: Teaching Assistantships at Cornell University & New York University


Cornell Dept of Communication

Motivation & Goal Pursuit Lab

Virtual Embodiment Lab

Cornell Center for the Study of Inequality

Psychological Science Accelerator

Action Research Collaborative

Cornell Center for Social Sciences

Open Science Framework