Dr. Moran received a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Southern California , an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico, an M.Ed. in Mind, Brain and Behavior plus an Ed.D. in Human Development & Psychology from Harvard University, and postdoctoral training at Stanford University.
Current Research and Teaching
Dr. Moran’s research interests take a developmental perspective on how individuals make contributions to situations, institutions and communities and how they recognize themselves as contributors. Each of us is part of the “environment” for others’ development: psychology includes not just how environmental stimuli affect an individual’s psychology, but also how an individual’s psychology stimulates other individuals’—as well as more collective forms of institutions'—psychology. Our interactions—direct and interpersonal, or indirect through media and artifacts—jointly develop the community, society, culture, and future we share. In particular, Dr. Moran examines the developmental paths to exemplary forms of contribution, including creativity (which transforms the trajectory of culture), prosocial life purpose (which gives a positive, inclusive direction to a person’s life trajectory), wisdom (which is considered a deep, systemic knowledge of, and skill for affecting, how aspects of the world are interconnected).
Her current projects are: (1) the intersection of service-learning and life purpose: how do high-impact educational experiences of helping others or institutions influence a young person's vision and plans for the future? (2) the intersection of creativity and morality/ethics: how does an individual's and a culture's current notions of “good” affect whether and how creativity is manifested, and how do creative contributions, in turn, sometimes lead to moral turbulence?
At Clark, Dr. Moran teaches an ethics of collaborative creativity seminar, development of life purpose seminar, and a decision-making lab, as well as a research experience course related to purpose in youth. She also has taught adult development, adolescent development, professional ethics, leadership, youth entrepreneurship, advertising, and marketing at other universities as well as in professional trainer and coach roles.
Moran, S., Kaufman, J. C., & Cropley, D. H. (Eds.). (2014). The ethics of creativity. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Chen, J-Q., Moran, S., & Gardner, H. (Eds.). (2009). Multiple intelligences around the world. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Sawyer, K., John-Steiner, V., Moran, S., Sternberg, R.J., Feldman, D.H., Nakamura, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2003). Creativity and development. New York: Oxford University Press.
Other Selected Publications
For reprints, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moran, S. (2014). What “purpose“ means to youth: Are there distinct cultures of purpose? Applied Developmental Science, 18(3), 1-13.
Malin, H., Reilly, T.S., Quinn, B., & Moran, S. (2013). Adolescent purpose development: Exploring empathy, discovering roles, shifting priorities, and creating pathways. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 24(1), 186-199. DOI: 10.1111/jora.1205
Moran, S., Bundick, M., Malin, H., & Reilly, T.S. (2012). How supportive of their specific purposes do youth believe their family and friends are? Journal of Adolescent Research, 28(3), 348-377. DOI: 10.1177/0743558412457816
Moran, S. (2010). Changing the world: Tolerance and creativity aspirations among American youth. High Ability Studies, 21(2), 117-132.
Moran, S. (2009). Purpose: Giftedness in intrapersonal intelligence. High Ability Studies, 20(2), 143-159.
Moran, S. (2010). The roles of creativity in society. In J.C. Kaufman & R.J. Sternberg (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of creativity (pp. 74-90). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Moran, S. (2010). Creativity in school. In K.S. Littleton, C. Wood, & J.K. Staarman (Eds.), International handbook of psychology in education (pp. 319-360). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group.
Moran, S. (2009). What role does commitment play among writers with different levels of creativity? Creativity Research Journal, 21(2-3), 243-257.
Moran, S. (2009). Creativity: A systems perspective. In T. Richards, M. Runco, & S. Moger (Eds.), The Routledge companion to creativity (pp. 292-301). London: Routledge.
Moran, S., & Gardner, H. (2006). Extraordinary cognitive achievements: A developmental and systems analysis. In W. Damon (Series Ed.) & D. Kuhn & R.S. Siegler (Vol. Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 2 Cognition, perception, and language (6th ed.; pp. 905-949). New York: Wiley.
Moran, S., & John-Steiner, V. (2003). Creativity in the making: Vygotsky’s contribution to the dialectic of creativity and development. In K. Sawyer et al., Creativity and development (pp. 61-90). New York: Oxford University Press.