Expert in Decision-Making and the Psychology of Negotiations; Assistant Professor in the UCL School of Management
Chia-Jung Tsay is an Assistant Professor in the UCL School of Management. She examines the psychology behind decision-making, especially when it comes to selecting (and evaluating) candidates. One of her streams of research revealed a counterintuitive result: that while we think we prefer those who work hard to achieve success (“strivers”), we actually prefer people with in-born abilities (“naturals”). In another stream of work, Tsay revealed that test subjects are able to pick out winners of music competitions simply from watching silent video clips of the performers—which means that visual cues based on appearance and expectation are often prioritized over other, seemingly more germane information.
Visual Biases: How to Harness Visual Cues for Evaluation and Performance
Could you guess the winner of a music competition by sight alone? In a series of experiments, Chia-Jung Tsay revealed a counter-intuitive finding: that we’re more likely to pick the winners of live competitions through solely visual cues—no music needed. Visual cues can dominate our decision-making processes, and this has a profound impact on how we evaluate both people and information. In this keynote, Tsay awakens audiences to our mostly unacknowledged visual bias. We want to make wise decisions and long-term investments. And we want to select, promote, and reward actual talent. But to do so, we need to be mindful of our inclination to favor certain forms of information over others. Conversely, we can also learn how to harness visual cues to create lasting value—in everything from hiring more diverse staff to encouraging more accountability. It’s all about harvesting the power of visuals, Tsay argues—for better relations, organizations, and so much more.
Strivers v. Naturals: What Do We Look for in Teammates, Candidates, and Leaders?
What do you value more when hiring a new employee: natural talent or hard work? Most of us are quick to say that we value grit and perseverance over in-born ability—especially when it comes to hiring and admissions. But, according to Chia-Jung Tsay, we’re more likely to choose “naturals” over “strivers.”
But why? Where does this hidden bias come from? And how can we address this preference openly, to transform the way we evaluate, recruit, and reward? Drawing from examples in both corporate and university settings, Tsay explores our preconceptions and cultural biases, and offers eye-opening and emboldening frameworks for thinking past them.
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