Sian Beilock, PhD

Professor of Psychology
Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives

Sian is a professor of Psychology and Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives at the University of Chicago and one of the world’s leading experts on the brain science behind “choking under pressure” and the many brain and body factors influencing all types of performance: from test-taking to public speaking to your golf swing.  Sian Beilock also runs the Human Performance Lab at the University of Chicago. 

Sian’s research is routinely covered in the media (e.g., CNN, New York Times, NPR, Wall Street Journal) and she was highlighted as one of four “Rising Stars” across all academic disciplines by the Chronicle of Higher Education in 2005, chosen as one of twenty-five “Women to Watch” by Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine in 2007, and received an award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science in 2011.  

Sian received a B.S. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego and PhDs in both Kinesiology (sport science) and Psychology from Michigan State University. Her research is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation.  Sian is the author of the critically-acclaimed book Choke and How the Body Knows It's Mind (