Michael Barlev

Former Ph.D. Student


Evolutionary Cognitive Science of Religion, Theory of Mind


Ph.D., Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara


Michael is currently a Post-Doc at Arizona State University.

Michael wrote his Master’s thesis under the supervision of Tamsin German, where we investigated how the mind represents evolutionary novel beliefs and resolves conflicts between such beliefs and core intuitions when the two are inconsistent. I am currently writing my dissertation under Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, where we’re investigating the computational properties of certain social cognition mechanisms. Additionally, I am interested in anomalous experiences (sometimes termed “religious” experiences), and in the link between such experiences and beliefs.

As one of the few experimentalists in the REM lab group, I (try to) help group members integrate experimental methods and insights from cognitive science and evolutionary psychology into their research.