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Sian Leah Beilock, Executive Provost and Stella M. Rowley Professor of Psychology at The University of Chicago, will receive one of the 2017 Troland Research Awards.
Beilock’s research focuses on an all-too-familiar feeling: how even the most skilled human beings can “choke” under pressure. More specifically, Beilock’s research focuses on the underlying psychological, physical and neurological mechanisms that explain how anxiety and high-stress situations compromise our ability to learn and execute complex skills, such as mathematics during school tests or athletics on the field. This examination of performance anxiety has resulted in more than 100 scientific papers and two critically acclaimed books, “Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To” and “How the Body Knows its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel.” It also has tremendous implications for how we educate students, how athletes perform, and how businesses train their workforces. By increasing our understanding of how and why people become anxious, Beilock’s research is developing pioneering techniques to help people perform better during complex and stressful tasks in every aspect of our daily life.
Two Troland Research Awards of $75,000 are given annually to recognize unusual achievement by young investigators (defined as no older than 40) and to further empirical research within the broad spectrum of experimental psychology. The Troland Research Award was established by a trust created in 1931 by the bequest of Leonard T. Troland.