Much of my research examines processes related to identity maintenance and their implications for social problems. One primary aim of my research is the development of theory-driven, rigorously tested intervention strategies that further our understanding of the processes underpinning social problems and that offer solutions to alleviate them. Two key questions lie at the core of my research: “Given that a problem exists, what are its underlying processes?” And, “Once identified, how can these processes be overcome?” One reason for this interest in intervention is my belief that a useful way to understand psychological processes and social systems is to try to change them. We also are interested in how and when seemingly brief interventions, attuned to underlying psychological processes, produce large and long-lasting psychological and behavioral change.
The methods that my lab uses include laboratory experiments, longitudinal studies, content analyses, and randomized field experiments. One specific area of research addresses the effects of group identity on achievement, with a focus on under-performance and racial and gender achievement gaps. Additional research programs address hiring discrimination, the psychology of closed-mindedness and inter-group conflict, and psychological processes underlying anti-social and health-risk behavior.
Access and Equity
Achievement and Motivation
Equity and Poverty
Motivation to Learn
Women in Science
BA, Psychology, Cornell University.
PH.D., Psychology, Stanford University.
Social Psychology and Social Change
Pro-seminar on Research and Practice in Education (Educ 393)
Cohen, G. L., Purdie-Vaughns, V., & Garcia,J. (in press). An identity threat perspective on intervention. In M. Inzlicht and T. Schmader(Eds.), Stereotype threat: Theory, Process, and Application. New York: Oxford University Press.