Moin Syed

Photo of Moin Syed

Contact Me

Dept of Psychology
N218 Elliott Hall

75 E River Rd

****Attention! Beginning with the 2017-18 academic year I will no longer advise new graduate students through the Counseling Psychology program. Students interested in working with me should apply to the Personality, Individual Differences, and Behavior Genetics program.


I am a cultural developmental psychologist with broad interests in identity and personality development among adolescents and emerging adults from diverse ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds. My work particularly focuses on 1) how individuals’ identities, represented via personal narratives, interface with culturally-available master narratives, and 2) how youth integrate their multiple identities, with an emphasis on how ethnic identity intersects with other identity domains (e.g., gender, sexuality, education). I also pursue interests in meta-psychology, i.e., research on how psychology operates as an academic discipline, especially in the context of ethnic minority psychology.

More information on current research projects and a full list of publications are available at the NICE Lab website.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • M.A.: San Francisco State University.
  • B.A.: San Francisco State University.

Curriculum Vitae

Courses Taught
  • PSY 1905: The Cultural Psychology of Storytelling
  • PSY 3960: Careers in Psychology
  • PSY 5993: Directed Research - Narrative, Identity, Culture, and Education (NICE) Lab
  • PSY 8541: Multicultural Psychology
  • PSY 8960: Developmental Psychology: Individual and Cultural Influences
  • PSY 8960: Teaching of Psychology
  • PSY 8960: History and Methods of Psychology
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Editor-in-Chief, Emerging Adulthood: 2016 - 2021
  • Governing Council, Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood: 2013 - 2017
  • President, Society for Research on Identity Formation: 2017 - 2019
  • Syed, M., & Ajayi, A. A. (in press). Promises and pitfalls in the integration of intersectionality with development science. . New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass,
  • Syed, M., Santos, C., Yoo, H. C. B., & Juang, L. P. (in press). Invisibility of racial/ethnic minorities in developmental science: Implications for research and institutional practices.. American Psychologist.,
  • Syed, M., & Kathawalla, U. K. (2018). Integrating culture and biology in psychological research: Conceptual clarifications and recommendations. In J. M. Causadias, E. H. Telzer, & N. A. Gonzales (Eds.). Handbook of culture and biology interplay: Bridging evolutionary adaptation and development (pp. 32-54), New York: Wiley,
  • Adler J. M., Dunlop, W. L., Fivush, R., Lilgendahl, J. P., Lodi-Smith, J. McAdams, D. P., McLean, K. C., Pasupathi, M., & Syed, M. (2017). Research methods for studying narrative identity: A primer. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 8(5), 519-527.
  • Galliher, R. V., McLean, K. C., & Syed, M. (2017). An integrated developmental model for studying identity content in context. Developmental Psychology, 53, 2011-2022.
  • Syed, M. (2017). Why traditional metrics may not adequately represent ethnic minority psychology. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(6), 1162-1165.
  • Syed, M. (2016). Power and agency in conceptualizing life stages as master narratives. Human Development, 59, 317–323.
  • Syed, M., & McLean, K. C. (2016). Understanding identity integration: Theoretical, methodological, and applied issues.. Journal of Adolescence, 47, 109-118.
  • McLean, K. C., & Syed, M. (2015). Personal, master, and alternative narratives: An integrative framework for understanding identity development in context. Human Development, 58, 318-349.
  • McLean, K. C., & Syed, M. (Eds.) (2015). The Oxford handbook of identity development, New York: Oxford University Press.,
  • Syed, M. (2015). Emerging adulthood: Theory, developmental stage, or nonsense? In J. J. Arnett (Ed.),. The Oxford handbook of emerging adulthood., New York: Oxford University Press.,
  • Syed, M. (2015). Theoretical and methodological contributions of narrative psychology to ethnic identity research. In C. Santos & A. J. Umaña-Taylor (Eds.). Studying ethnic identity: Methodological advances and considerations for future research. , Washington, DC: American Psychological Association,
  • Syed, M., & Nelson, S. C. (2015). Guidelines for establishing reliability when coding narrative data. Emerging Adulthood, 3, 375-387.
  • Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, 2014 - 2015
  • Best Paper Award, Asian American Journal of Psychology, 2012