Psychologist Valerie Purdie-Vaughns Studies the Impact of Society’s Expectations

When Valerie Purdie-Vaughns was in high school, she was recruited by Columbia to play basketball, and she still has a vivid memory of what her guidance counselor said. “I know Columbia is interested in you,” she recalls as though the conversation were yesterday, “but you won’t get in, and even if you do, people like you don’t do well there.”
Today the Long Island native is an associate professor of psychology at the University, specializing in stereotypes and the experiences of marginalized groups in society, including minorities, the disabled, women in science, gays and lesbians, and ex-convicts.

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