Research isn't completed in solitary.

Here are some of the individuals I've worked with the past few years:

Postdoctoral advisor:


Since September 2020, I have been a postdoctoral research associate at Boston University and a member of the Social Learning Lab (SLL). I work with Dr. Kathleen Corriveau.


From June 2014 to August 2020, I was a doctoral student at UC Riverside and a member of the Childhood Cognition Lab (CCL). I worked with

Dr. Rebekah Richert.

doctoral advisor:


Additional Projects & Collaborators

A few individuals I currently & previously collaborated with (organized by project) include:

Development of Religious Cognition Longitudinal Study (R'GOD)

This 6-wave longitudinal study examines children's concepts of prayer, supernatural beings, supernatural causality, rituals, and moral reasoning between the ages of 3.5- to 11-years-old. Between March 2013 and July 2019, children and parents from four religious groups (Protestant Christian, Roman Catholic, Muslim, Religiously Non-Affiliated/Nones) in Southern California were interviewed every 6- to 11-months. Funding for this line of research was provided by a grant from the Social Science Research Council’s New Directions in the Study of Prayer initiative to Dr. Rebekah Richert and Dr. Nicholas Shaman, a grant from the John Templeton Foundation awarded to Dr. Rebekah Richert (#52622), as well as a Research and Travel grant from the UCR Academic Senate to Dr. Rebekah Richert and a UCR Chancellor’s Research Fellowship to Insia Dharsi.

Current and previous graduate student collaborators on this study include:

Nicholas Shaman, PhD

Anondah Saide, PhD

Alisha Conover, MA

Brianna Cabrera, MA

Hea Jung Lee, MA

Magic in Mauritius


This study examined how Hindu adults judge participation in black magic/witchcraft rituals or religious rituals and how these judgments relate to (dis)trust and blame attribution within the Hindu communities of Mauritius. Funding for this line of research was provided by a seed-grant from the John Templeton Foundation (#60476) as a result of a psychology of religion early-career workshop in 2016. I conducted fieldwork in Mauritius in July to August 2018 alongside:

Dimitris Xygalatas, PhD

Cultural & Experimental Anthropologist, University of Connecticut

Director of the field site in Mauritius

Aiyana Willard, PhD

Cultural Evolution Psychologist, Brunel University, London

Explanatory Systems for Biological Illnesses (ESBI)

This set of studies examine my own line of research on causal reasoning and causal explanations. Specifically, using experimental design and structured, qualitative interviews, we examine the causal mechanisms (folk, scientific, religious, supernatural, moral) children and their parents attribute to the causes and treatments of biological illnesses (common cold & cancer), their reasons for endorsing those causes, and parents’  approaches to explaining the causes of illness to their children. Funding for this line of research was provided by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Patrice L. Engle Dissertation Grant (awarded to K. Lesage for data collected in Colombia) and by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR) Dissertation Grant (awarded to K. Lesage for data collected in the US). Data was collected in Southern California with Mexican-heritage families from September 2018 to March 2020 and in Colombia from October 2018 to December 2019.

Laura Posada, BA

  Role: Collaborator in Methodological Design and Paid Field Research Assistant for Data

      Collection in Colombia

  Study Population & Location: Spanish-speaking Catholics in Colombia

  Dates: August 2017 - Present