Ulas Kaplan

Associate Professor

Associate Professor Ulas Kaplan

Ulas is a faculty member in the PhD in Educational Studies program. He is a developmental scientist exploring a broad range of motivational and educational phenomena from the perspective of complex dynamic systems. According to this perspective, human motivation, learning and development can be understood in terms of temporal relationships between multiple psychological, organismic and environmental factors, which are intertwined. Ulas's work in moral psychology connects cognitive-developmental ideas with an affective and dynamic understanding of the moral mind.

Ulas's work in human well-being examines psychological and physiological factors in relation to the therapeutic practice of mental imagery (intentional use of imagination). Similar to his exploration of moral judgment and motivation (to be subject to short-term changes), he examines well-being as an experience that is dynamically variable in a short time (microdevelopment of daily well-being).

In a book he recently published in his native language (Turkish) on violence and education, Ulas proposed a dynamic developmental update and revision of Dewey's and Kohlberg's progressive educational vision. That is, he proposed that development and well-being can be universally valuable and inclusive aims of education if both development and well-being are understood dynamically with an appreciation of complexity.

Education:  BSc, Istanbul Technical University; MA, Boğaziçi University; EdM, Harvard University; EdD, Harvard University

Selected Publications

  • Kaplan, U. (2017). Identity development and aging. In K. L. Nadal (Ed.), The Sage Encyclopedia of
  • Psychology and Gender (pp. 915-917). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Kaplan, U. (2017). Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. In K. L. Nadal (Ed.), The Sage
  • Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender (pp. 1012-1016). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Kaplan, U. (2017). Moral motivation as a dynamic developmental process: Toward an integrative synthesis. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 47(2), 195-221.
  • Kaplan, U. (2016). Şiddeti yenmek, eğitimle gelişmek. İstanbul: Varlık Yayınları.
  • Plass, J., & Kaplan, U. (2016). Emotional design in digital media for learning. In S. Tettegah & M.
  • Gartmeier (Eds.), Emotions, technology, design and learning (pp. 131-162). London, UK: Elsevier.
  • Kaplan, U., Epstein, G. N., & Sullivan Smith, A. (2014). Microdevelopment of daily well-being through mental imagery practice. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 34(1), 73-96.
  • Kaplan, U., & Tivnan, T. (2014a). Moral motivation based on multiple developmental structures:
  • An exploration of cognitive and emotional dynamics. The Journal of Genetic Psychology. Research and Theory on Human Development, 175(3), 181-201.
  • Kaplan, U., & Tivnan, T. (2014b). Moral motivational pluralism: Moral judgment as a function of the dynamic assembly of multiple developmental structures. Journal of Adult Development, 21(4), 193-206.
  • Kaplan, U., & Tivnan, T. (2014c). Multiplicity of emotions in moral judgment and motivation. Ethics & Behavior, 24(6), 421-443.
  • Kaplan, U., Crocket, C. E., & Tivnan, T. (2014). Moral motivation of college students through multiple developmental stages. Evidence of intrapersonal variability in a complex dynamic system. Motivation and Emotion, 38(3), 336-352.
  • Kaplan, U. (2014). Moral judgment is not based on a dichotomy between emotion and cognition: Commentary on Bazerman et al. (2011). Emotion Review, 6(1), 86.
  • Kaplan, U., & Epstein, G. N. (2011). Psychophysiological coherence as a function of mental imagery practice. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 31(4), 297-312.
  • Harris, C. M. & Kaplan, U. (2011). Comprehensive hybrid course development. In D. S. Dunn, J. C. Wilson, J. Freeman, & J. R. Stowell (Eds.), Getting connected: Best practices for technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Chirkov, V., Ryan R. M., Kim, Y., & Kaplan, U. (2003).  Differentiating autonomy from individualism and independence: A self-determination theory perspective on internalization of cultural orientations, gender, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(1), 97-110.

Selected Presentations

  • Kaplan, U. (2014). Moral motivation as a soft-assembled process based on real-time cognition-emotion interactions. In symposium session, The relation between micro-level processes and macro-level concepts. Paper to be presented at the European Association for Research in Adolescent Conference, İzmir, Turkey.
  • Kaplan, U. (2014). A dynamic systems perspective on moral motivation and its educational implications. In symposium session, Applying the complex dynamic systems approach to self and motivation in educational settings. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, Washington, DC.
  • Kaplan, U. (2014). Microdevelopment of moral motivation using video clips. Paper presented at the 7th Annual Subway Summit on Cognition and Education Research. New York University Magnet Hall, Brooklyn, NY.
  • Kaplan, U. (2011). Using film clips to facilitate transformative learning in psychology. Paper presented at the Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference, Learning Forward: Teaching Technologies for Engaged Learners, Harrisonburg, VA.
  • Kaplan, U. (2010). Moral motivation through multiple developmental stages: A reformulation of Kohlberg’s model to account for the complexity of moral judgment. Paper presented at the Association for Moral Education Conference, St. Louis, MO.
  • Kaplan, U. (2010). Moral development and moral sense: A possible integration from a motivational perspective. Paper and poster presented at the Society for Research in Adult Development Annual Symposium, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Kaplan, U. (2009). Psychophysiological coherence as a function of mental imagery and thought monitoring. Poster presented at the U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress, Las Vegas, NV.
  • Kaplan, U. (2009). The use of films in teaching psychology. Paper presented at the Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference, Exploring the Learning Landscape Conference, Harrisonburg, VA.
  • Harris, C. M., & Kaplan, U. (2008). Developing comprehensive hybrid courses. Workshop presented at the Society for the Teaching of Psychology Conference, Getting Connected: Best Practices in Technology-Enhanced Teaching & Learning in Psychology, Atlanta, GA.
  • Harris, C. M., & Kaplan, U. (2008). Comprehensive hybrid course development. Paper presented at the Society for the Teaching of Psychology Conference, Getting Connected: Best Practices in Technology-Enhanced Teaching & Learning in Psychology, Atlanta, GA.
  • Kaplan, U. (2007). Cognitive and emotional dynamics in moral motivation and development. Paper presented at the Association for Moral Education Conference, New York, NY.
  • Kaplan, U. (2007). Development of cognitive and emotional experience in moral motivation. Poster presented at the Cognitive Development Society Conference, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Kaplan, U. (2007). The dynamic nature of moral motivation and emotional experience in moral meaning making. Paper and poster presented at the Society for Research in Adult Development Annual Symposium, Boston, MA.
  • Kaplan, U. (2003). Motivation and psychological well-being across cultures: internalization of cultural values and practices. Paper presented at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Student Research Conference, Cambridge, MA.
  • Kaplan, U. (2001). Moral development in the middle of things: taking into account reasoning and action. Paper presented at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Student Research Conference, Cambridge, MA.
  • Kaplan, U. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic values and aspirations in relation to psychological well-being and self-actualization. Paper presented at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Student Research Conference, Cambridge, MA.