Join the second of our Research Seminar Series with Professor Chia–Jung Tsay, UW-Madison and the UCL School of Management.
Paper title. A Premium on Perceived “Naturalness”: Contradictions to Our Ideals of Fairness and Meritocracy
Chia–Jung Tsay is an Associate Professor at UW-Madison and the UCL School of Management. Her work examines the psychological processes that influence decision making and interpersonal perception about performance. Chia‘s research has been published in journals including PNAS, Management Science, OBHDP, ROB, and PSPB, and featured in media outlets including the BBC, Economist, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Nature, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal. Chia received a Ph.D. in Organizational Behaviour jointly from Harvard Business School and the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and has taught negotiations and decision making at institutions such as Oxford, Wharton, and Tsinghua. In other professional experience, as a classical pianist, Chia has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the U.S. Embassy and holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where she later served as faculty.REGISTER HERE
Across domains, organizations and institutions invest heavily in the judgment of performance. After all, we consider fair systems, processes, and access to equitable opportunities to be celebrated aspects of modern society. Yet beliefs about the origins of individual performance outcomes can shape important decisions in all spheres of accomplishment and any context that involves social evaluations. Challenging our broad, explicit admiration of hard work, my research shows that people are subject to a hidden “naturalness bias,” a phenomenon which I define as the premium people place on apparent natural ability and talent, as opposed to the same achievements obtained through striving and deliberate motivation. The initial findings were extended through additional sets of studies elaborating on the generalizability and persistence of these effects, such as in entrepreneurship, leadership, negotiations, networking, and employee development. Works in progress discuss the implications for gender, race, ethics and healthcare, and learning outcomes.