Academics: Faculty

Valerie Jones Taylor, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Address: Department of Psychology
350 Spelman Lane SW, Box 364
Atlanta, GA 30318-4399
Phone: 404-270-6051

Office: Giles Hall, 322

Valerie Taylor, Ph.D.Valerie Jones Taylor received a doctorate in social psychology from Stanford University in 2009, where she was advised and mentored by Dr. Claude M. Steele.  Upon completion of her graduate training, she was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow (2009 – 2011) at Princeton University, under the guidance of Dr. J. Nicole Shelton.  Dr. Taylor began her tenure as an assistant professor of psychology at Spelman College in the fall of 2011. She was also awarded a Ford Postdoctoral Fellowship (2011 – 2012) to continue her research at Spelman.

Broadly, Dr. Taylor’s research explores how and when identity threat (e.g., racial or gender stereotyping) may be advantageous or detrimental to people’s cognitive and behavioral outcomes. In one line of research,she examines the conditions under which threatening academic and professional environments motivate members of negatively stereotyped and numerically underrepresented groups to work hard to succeed and to persist in these settings – rather than cause them to disengage or to give up. 

In a second line of research, she applies her work on threat and motivation to interpersonal interactions to explore how people manage interracial (vs. intraracial) interactions after witnessing same-race peers commit stereotype-confirming acts. Finally, Dr. Taylor’s third line of research continues the development of stereotype threat theory by examining: (1) the conditions under which achievement gaps are induced and eliminated and (2) the cumulative effect of stereotype threat on stereotyped students’ learning.

Curriculum Vitae: Download CV


Ph.D. Social Psychology
Stanford University, July 2009

B.A. in Psychology & Ethnic Studies (concentration in African & African American Studies)
The University of Texas at Austin, May 2002


Psychological Perspectives on Interracial Interactions: Cognitions, Motivations, and Physiology Psychology Honors Thesis Research Seminar
Social Psychology
Statistics in Psychology
First Year Experience Seminar


National Science Foundation Research Grant (2012 – 2015)
Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2011 – 2012)
National Science Foundation Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship (2009 – 2011)
Albert Hastorf Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Stanford Psychology Department Commencement (2009)
Center for the Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) Dissertation Fellowship, Stanford University (2008 – 2009)
American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship (2008 – 2009)


Brannon, T., Markus, H. R., & Taylor, V. J. (in press). ‘Two Souls, Two Thoughts’, Two  Self-Schemas: Adaptive and Positive Consequences of Double Consciousness in African-Americans. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Murphy, M. C., & Taylor, V. J. (2012). The role of situational cues in signaling and maintaining stereotype threat. In M. Inzlicht & T. Schmader (Eds.), Stereotype Threat: Theory, Process, and Application. New York: Oxford University Press.

Taylor, V. J., & Walton, G. M. (2011). Stereotype threat undermines academic learning. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(8) 1055–1067.


Emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal responses to ingroup members’ stereotype-confirming behavior in interracial interactions (Collaborator: J. Nicole Shelton)

Consequences of Identity-Threatening Cues in Academic and Social Environments (Collaborator: Mary C. Murphy)

The pressure to work harder among minority group members and women in math, science, and engineering (Collaborators: Claude M. Steele, Courtney Bonam)

Selling out: The consequences of embracing an outgroup (Collaborators: Sapna Cheryan, John Oliver Siy, Nicole Stephens)

Stereotype threat meta-analysis: The strength of the stereotype threat effect across multiple populations and domains (Collaborator: Gregory M. Walton)