Lab Group

The composition of the Lab Group allows us to work collaboratively between levels of analysis and across traditions and cultures. The faculty have complementary areas of expertise: Professor Ann Taves, in theory and method in the study of religion with a specialization in American Religions; Professor Tamsin German in cognitive and developmental psychology, and Dr. Ray Paloutzian in social psychology and psychology of religion.  Specializing in multiple religious traditions, languages, disciplines, and objects of study (e.g., near death experiences, mystical experience, alcoholism, music, dance, ritual, transmission of religious), the graduate students bring an array of knowledge and skills that enhances the collaborative environment of the Group.

Core Faculty

  • Professor
  • Faculty Advisor

Professor of Religious Studies, UC Santa Barbara

Areas: American religious history; theory and method in the study of religion; interdisciplinary approaches to the study of experience

Affiliated Faculty

Stockholm University
  • Affiliated Faculty

Post-Doctoral Researcher, Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara (December 1, 2013 - 2015)

  • Associate Professor

Associate Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Professor Emeritus

Professor Emeritus, Psychology, Westmont College Editor, The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion

Areas: Experimental Social Psychology, Psychology of Religion.

Affiliated Researchers

  • Post Doctoral Researcher Arizona State University

Evolutionary Cognitive Science of Religion, Theory of Mind

  • Affiliated Researcher

Alternative Spirituality and New Religious Movements, Cognition and Imagination, Folk Belief and Folk Narrative

Graduate Students

  • Ph.D. Student

Hinduism and Alternative Religions, Western Esotericsm and Medieval Studies, Cognitive Delusions and Default Processing

  • Ph.D. Student

Jewish Mysticism, Abrahamic Contemplative Traditions, Contemplative Sciences, Embodied Cognition and Nonlinear Systems

  • Ph.D. Student

Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhist Epistemology, Phenomenology, Cognitive Science of Religion

  • Ph.D. Candidate

Religions in North America, Religion and Literature, Cognitive Science of Religion

  • Ph.D. Candidate

Religious Healing and Addiction, Intersections of Religious and Scientific discourses

  • MA/Ph.D. Student

MA/Ph.D. Student, Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Former Ph.D. Student

Ph.D. Student, Religious Studies, University of California Santa Barbara

  • Ph.D. Student

East Asian Religions, Time

  • Former M.A. Student

Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Former Ph.D. Student

Ph.D. Student, Religious Studies, University of California Santa Barbara

  • Ph.D. Candidate

Contemporary Islamic Studies (MENA), Music and Religious Practice, Cognition and Music Perception

  • Ph.D. Student

Ph.D. Student, Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Areas of Study: Contemporary Religion; Countercultures; “New Age;” Cultural Transmission; Cognitive Science of Religion.

  • PhD Student

Jewish Studies, German Theological and Philosophical Thought, Kabbalah, Critical Theory and Religion