Spencer Mermelstein

Spencer Mermelstein

Graduate Student



Tamsin German

Research Area

Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology


Spencer Mermelstein received a B.A. in Psychology with High Honors and Distinction in the Major from UC Santa Barbara in 2014. After working as a teaching assistant for a psychology research methods class at Santa Barbara City College, Spencer joined Dr. Tamsin German's Cognition & Development Lab in 2015 as a PhD student in Developmental & Evolutionary Psychology. Spencer studies the mental representation of counterintuitive concepts, like those in science and religion. Teaching is core to Spencer's work at UCSB, where he is often an instructor for Research Methods and Developmental Psychology. He also serves as a mentor for undergraduates and first year graduate students. 


Drawing on evolutionary, developmental, and cognitive psychology, Spencer studies the psychological mechanisms that defend the mind from misinformation as well as the mental representation of "counterintuitive" concepts like those found in religion and science. 

[Cognitive science of religion, counterintuitive concepts, epistemic vigilance, memory]