Alexis Smith-Flores

Alexis Smith-Flores

PhD student in Experimental Psychology

UC San Diego | SoCal Lab

About Me

I study tiny humans and their development. The world is full of rich social information, like emotions and group dynamics. I’m interested in how infants and children use social information to make sense of their perceptual world and how this information can inform their representations of objects and agents.

I am currently a third year graduate student at the University of California, San Diego working with Dr. Lindsey Powell in the Social Cognition and Learning (SoCal) Lab. I am funded by a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship and UCSD’s Cota-Robles Fellowship.

During my undergraduate program at Boston University, I worked with Dr. Melissa Kibbe in the Developing Minds Lab. After undergrad, I worked as the lab manager for the Johns Hopkins University Lab for Child Development directed by Drs. Lisa Feigenson and Justin Halberda.

  • Social Cognition
  • Emotion Reasoning
  • Object Representation
  • Open Science
  • PhD in Experimental Psychology, Expected 2025

    UC San Diego

  • MA in Experimental Psychology, 2022

    UC San Diego

  • BA in Psychology - Cum Laude with Honors, 2018

    Boston University


(2021). Online measures of looking and learning in infancy. Infancy, 27(1).

PDF Cite Dataset Project Poster DOI


Using emotions to understand the social world.
How do we leverage our understanding of emotions to reason about objects and other people?
Inferring relationships from observed behaviors.
How do humans across the lifespan make inferences about others’ relationships and what predictions can we make from our observations?
Understanding of objects in social contexts.
How do infants and children represent and reason about objects in the context of social information?


UC San Diego
UC San Diego
Jun 2021 – Jul 2021 California

Courses Taught:

  • Summer 2021: Fundamentals of R Summer Workshop
UC San Diego
Teaching Assistant
UC San Diego
Jan 2021 – Present California

Courses Taught:

  • Spring 2023: Honors in Psychology Research Methods B
  • Spring 2023: Honors in Psychology Research Methods A
  • Fall 2022: Introduction to R for Social Sciences
  • Spring 2022: Psychology Research Methods: Lab
  • Fall 2021: Psychology Research Methods: Lab
  • Winter 2021: Psychology Research Methods
UC San Diego
UC San Diego
Oct 2021 – Dec 2021 California
Workshop Series on Teaching and Mentoring in Psychology


UC San Diego
Diversifying Psychology Event
Oct 2022 – Oct 2022

Organized a two-day virtual event for potential PhD applicants from underrepresented and minoritized backgrounds to prepare students for the graduate admissions process in psychology.

Next-Gen Psychology Scholars Program (NPSP)
Graduate Mentor
Jan 2021 – Present
Project SHORT
Graduate Mentor
Jan 2021 – Present

Research Experience

Meta | AI Platform Research
UX Research Intern
Jun 2022 – Aug 2022 Menlo Park, CA
Johns Hopkins University | Lab for Child Development
Lab Manager
Jul 2018 – Jul 2020 Baltimore, MD
Boston Child Study Center | PCIT Clinic
Clinical Assistant
Mar 2017 – May 2018 Boston, MA
Boston University | Developing Minds Lab
Honors Thesis
Sep 2017 – May 2018 Boston, MA
Boston University | Developing Minds Lab
Head Research Assistant
Sep 2017 – May 2018 Boston, MA
UCLA | Baby Lab
Research Intern
May 2016 – Sep 2016 Los Angeles, CA
Boston University | Developing Minds Lab
Research Assistant
Jan 2016 – Sep 2017 Boston, MA