Samuel A. Mehr, Ed.D.

Samuel Mehr is a Research Associate in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, where he directs the Music Lab. Originally a musician, Sam earned a B.M. in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music before diving into science at Harvard, where he earned an Ed.D. in Human Development and Education under the mentorship of Howard Gardner, Elizabeth Spelke, and Steven Pinker.

Mehr’s research draws on ideas and tools from cognitive and developmental psychology, data science, evolutionary anthropology, and music. For example, in the Natural History of Song project, he investigates the perceptual and cultural building blocks of music worldwide. In behavioral experiments, he asks how people hear and what people understand about music, even when that music is from foreign cultures. He is also interested in how music listening affects emotions and health in the daily lives of infants, children, and parents; and how musical abilities vary across different people and different societies, including rare musical impairments like tone-deafness.


icon Affiliation: Research Associate, Department of Psychology

icon University: Harvard University

icon Email

icon Phone: +1-617-998-1768

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