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Valerie Purdie-Vaughns
Associate Professor
Ph.D., 2004, Stanford University

General Area of Research

Intergroup Relations & Diversity

Current Research

Our lab promotes the development of research regarding people with threatened identities, and examines the consequences of their experiences for intergroup relations. Any individual can have part of his/her identity that is devalued or stigmatized in some way—women in the sciences, gay/lesbian, bi-sexuals in American society, aging workers in technology firms, African-Americans in intellectual settings, certain immigrants in the U.S. We attempt to understand their experiences and, through research, uncover ways to improve how majority and minority group members “get along.” More recently our lab has incorporated broader lines of research that explores cultural psychology and economics as it applies to one’s group membership. To accomplish this mission, our research lab primarily conducts experimental laboratory and field studies. Our philosophy is to design experiments that closely mirror real-world phenomena. This often takes us into police departments, legal settings, schools, businesses, and beyond. In recent years, we have started to explore the use of psycho-physiological techniques to understand how threats to our identity affect basic biological responses. This research takes us back into the lab for basic experimental research. The ultimate goal of our research is to deepen our understanding of culture and intergroup relations in society and to eventually inform educational and public policy.

Courses Frequently Taught

  • PSYC W2650 Introduction to Cultural Psychology
  • PSYC W3650 Cultural Psychology in the Public Interest (seminar)
  • PSYC G4615 The Psychology of Culture and Diversity (seminar)
Valerie Purdie-Vaughns Photo1

Columbia University
Psychology Dept.
402D Schermerhorn Hall
1190 Amsterdam Avenue MC: 5501
New York, NY 10027

Phone: 212-854-1954
Fax: 212-854-3609

Last modified on July 14, 2015