UCL School of Management

Chia-Jung Tsay

Honorary Associate Professor


Chia-Jung Tsay is an Associate Professor in the UCL School of Management. Her research examines the psychological processes that influence decision making and interpersonal perception in performance contexts. She investigates the role of expertise and nonconscious biases in professional selection and advancement. 

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, 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.


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, and volumes such as the Academy of Management Annals, the SIOP Frontier series, and the Frontiers in Social Psychology series. Tsay has been recognized as an Association for Psychological Science (APS) Rising Star, and her primary stream of research examines the impact of visual information on judgment about performance. 

Tsay’s research has been featured in media outlets including ABC, APA Monitor, Ars Technica, the Atlantic, Australian, BBC, Boston Globe, Business Insider, CBC, Economist, Daily Mail, Der Spiegel, Der Standard, Deutsche Welle, Die Presse, Die Welt, Die Zeit, Discover Magazine, El País, Fast Company, Financial Times, Forbes, Fox Business, Gramophone, Haaretz, Harvard Business Review, Harvard Gazette, Huffington Post, International Business Times, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Le Soir, Le Temps, Los Angeles Times, Nature, NBC, New York Magazine, NPR, Psychology Today, Radio France, Salon, Scientific American, Slate, Strad, Telegraph, TIME, Times, Wall Street Journal, Wired, and WirtschaftsWoche.


Research projects

Perception and judgment of performance

The role of expertise and nonconscious biases in judgments of performance.

The psychology of negotiations and public policy

Cognitive and affective barriers to creating value in negotiations and public policy.
Selected publications
Tsay, C. -. J. (2021). Visuals Dominate Investor Decisions about Entrepreneurial Pitches. Academy of Management Discoveries, amd.2019.0234. doi:10.5465/amd.2019.0234 [link]
Southwick, D. A., Tsay, C. -. J., & Duckworth, A. L. (2021). Grit at work. Research in Organizational Behavior, 39, 100126. doi:10.1016/j.riob.2020.100126 [link]
Silva, C., & Tsay, C. -. J. (2019). Harmful Attributions: The Role of Mind Perception. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 38 (9), 788-809. doi:10.1521/jscp.2019.38.9.788 [link]
Barak-Corren, N., Tsay, C., Cushman, F., & Bazerman, M. (2017). 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. doi:10.1287/mnsc.2016.2659 [link]
Buell, R. W., Kim, T., & Tsay, C. -. J. (2016). Creating Reciprocal Value Through Operational Transparency. Management Science. doi:10.1287/mnsc.2015.2411 [link]
Tsay, C. (2015). Privileging naturals over strivers: The costs of the naturalness bias. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. doi:10.1177/0146167215611638 [link]
Tsay, C. -. J. (2014). The vision heuristic: Judging music ensembles by sight alone. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 124 (1), 24-33. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2013.10.003 [link]
Tsay, C. -. J. (2013). Sight over sound in the judgment of music performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110 (36), 14580-14585. doi:10.1073/pnas.1221454110 [link]
Milkman, K. L., Mazza, M. C., Shu, L. L., Tsay, C. J., & Bazerman, M. H. (2012). Policy bundling to overcome loss aversion: A method for improving legislative outcomes. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 117 (1), 158-167. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2011.07.001 [link]
Tsay, C. -. J., Shu, L. L., & Bazerman, M. H. (2011). Naivete and Cynicism in Negotiations and Other Competitive Contexts. ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT ANNALS, 5, 495-518. doi:10.1080/19416520.2011.587283 [link]
Tsay, C. J., & Banaji, M. R. (2011). Naturals and strivers: Preferences and beliefs about sources of achievement. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47 (2), 460-465. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2010.12.010 [link]
Tsay, C. J., & Bazerman, M. H. (2009). A decision-making perspective to negotiation: A review of the past and a look to the future. Negotiation Journal, 25 (4), 467-480. doi:10.1111/j.1571-9979.2009.00239.x [link]

Link to the publication’s UCL Discovery page