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Chia-Jung Tsay

Chia-Jung Tsay
Associate Professor | Management and Human Resources
Bruce and Janice Ellig Professor in Management
5172 Grainger Hall


Chia-Jung Tsay is an Associate Professor in the Management and Human Resources Department. Her research examines the psychological processes that influence decision making about performance. She investigates the role of perception, expertise, and nonconscious biases in professional selection and advancement.

Tsay’s work has been published in academic journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Management Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Academy of Management Discoveries, and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Tsay has been recognized as an Association for Psychological Science (APS) Rising Star. Tsay’s research has been featured in media outlets across over 50 countries, including the Atlantic, BBC (print, radio features and interviews, live television broadcasts and interviews), Boston Globe, Business Insider, Chicago Tribune, Discover Magazine, Economist, Forbes, Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Los Angeles Times, Nature, NPR (print, live radio broadcasts and interviews), Philadelphia Inquirer, Scientific American, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Wired.

Tsay graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an A.B. in Psychology and an A.M. in History of Science from Harvard University. In other professional experience, as a classical pianist, Tsay has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the U.S. Embassy. She holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where she later served as faculty. Tsay received a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Psychology with a secondary Ph.D. field in Music from Harvard University, and has taught at institutions including Oxford, Tsinghua, UCL, UNC Chapel Hill, and Wharton. In 2021, she was named one of the “World’s Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professors” by Poets&Quants.


Selected Accepted Journal Articles

Ma, S. & Tsay, C. & Chen, E. (2022). Preference for talented naturals over hard workers emerges in childhood and shapes behavior Child Development

Selected Published Journal Articles

Southwick, D. & Liu, Z. & Baldwin, C. & Quirk, A. & Ungar, L. & Tsay, C. & Duckworth, A. (2023). The trouble with talent: Semantic ambiguity in the workplace Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

Svanås-Hoh, E. & Sanchez, J. & Tsay, C. (2022). How momentary affect impacts retrospective evaluations of aesthetic experiences Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts

Tolsá-Caballero, N. & Tsay, C. (2022). Blinded by our sight: Understanding the prominence of visual information in competence judgments Current Opinion in Psychology

Liu, C. & Tsay, C. (2021). The variance of variance Research in the Sociology of Organizations

Tsay, C. (2021). Visuals dominate investor decisions about entrepreneurial pitches Academy of Management Discoveries

Southwick, D. & Tsay, C. & Duckworth, A. (2020). Grit at work Research in Organizational Behavior

Silva, C. & Tsay, C. (2019). Harmful attributions: The role of mind perception Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

Barak-Corren, N. & Tsay, C. & Cushman, F. & Bazerman, M. (2018). If you’re going to do wrong, at least do it right: The surprising effect of considering two moral dilemmas at the same time Management Science

Buell, R. & Kim, T. & Tsay, C. (2017). Creating Reciprocal Value Through Operational Transparency Management Science

Tsay, C. (2016). Privileging naturals over strivers: The costs of the naturalness bias Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Tsay, C. (2014). The vision heuristic: Judging music ensembles by sight alone Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

Bazerman, M. & Gino, F. & Shu, L. & Tsay, C. (2014). The power of the cognition/emotion distinction for morality Emotion Review

Tsay, C. (2013). Sight over sound in the judgment of music performance Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Milkman, K. & Mazza, M. & Shu, L. & Tsay, C. & Bazerman, M. (2012). Policy bundling to overcome loss aversion: A method for improving legislative outcomes Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

Bazerman, M. & Gino, F. & Shu, L. & Tsay, C. (2011). Joint Evaluation as a Real-World Tool for Managing Emotional Assessments of Morality Emotion Review

Tsay, C. & Shu, L. & Bazerman, M. (2011). Naïveté and Cynicism in Negotiations and Other Competitive Contexts Academy of Management Annals

Tsay, C. & Banaji, M. (2011). Naturals and strivers: Preferences and beliefs about sources of achievement Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Tsay, C. & Bazerman, M. (2009). A Decision-Making Perspective to Negotiation: A Review of the Past and a Look to the Future Negotiation Journal

Practitioner-Oriented Publications

Tsay, C. & Martinez, J. (2021). In entrepreneurial pitches, stage presence is everything Harvard Business Review

Kaufman, S. & Tsay, C. (2016). People favor naturals over strivers — even though they say otherwise Harvard Business Review

Buell, R. & Kim, T. & Tsay, C. & Berinato, S. (2014). Cooks make tastier food when they can see their customers Harvard Business Review


Academy of Management Annual Meeting (2023) The Impact of Gender on Entrepreneurial Idea Generation and Selection