Valerie Purdy Greenaway, Ph.D.2018-02-16T10:52:59+00:00

Meet the Scientist

Valerie Purdie Greenaway, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology
Columbia University

Valerie Purdie-Vaughns is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University and an instructor at Columbia Business School. She teaches Negotiations in the Graduate and Executive Education programs at Columbia Business School, and Mind, Culture and Brain in the Department of Psychology. In 2014, she was the recipient of the distinguished Columbia University Lenfest Award for excellence in teaching and mentoring.

Dr. Purdie-Vaughns’ research focuses on the psychology and biology of identity in organizations. Her interests include diversity in schools and workplaces, understanding and closing achievement gaps, race and policing, and non-conscious processes. Dr. Purdie-Vaughns has authored over 50 publications and has been awarded significant federal research grants. In 2015, she was awarded the prestigious Columbia University RISE grant for most cutting-edge research on stress and workplace culture.

Dr. Purdie-Vaughns currently serves as a consultant for a variety of organizations including corporate clients, educational institutions and non-profits. She consults in the areas of leadership, teams, negotiations, communications, mentoring, multi-cultural and urban marketing, and diversity and inclusion strategy. Select clients, past and present, include Goldman Sachs, Intel, Ernst & Young,American Physics Society-Nuclear Physics Division, Bridgeport Fire Department and the Kapor Foundation.

Previously, Dr. Purdie-Vaughns served on the faculty at Yale University. She completed her doctoral work in psychology at Stanford University. She completed her undergraduate work at Columbia University and lettered in varsity basketball.

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.

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