University of Chicago Psychologist Examines Performing-Under-Stress Factors in University Convocation

The brain and body interactions that cause golfers to miss two-foot putts or beauty pageant contestants to muff contest questions will be explored Tuesday, Nov. 4 in a Lawrence University convocation.

Psychologist Sian Beilock

Sian Beilock, author and professor of psychology at the University of Chicago, presents “Leveraging Mind and Body to Perform Your Best Under Stress” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Beilock also will conduct a question-and-answer session at 2:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. Both events are free and open to the public.

An expert on the psychology of “choking under pressure,” Beilock will draw upon her research that focuses on the many factors, both mental and physical, which affect a person’s performance in stressful situations. She is the author of the 2011 book, “Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To,” which included suggestions on how to successfully navigate make-or-break moments.

Her second book, “How the Body Knows Its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel,” explores the effect that the human body and its physical environment have on cognitive function. It is scheduled for release in January 2015, but already has earned praise from Jean Twenge, author of “Generation Me,” as “the best kind of psychology book: Grounded in rigorous research and intensely practical.”

Beilock has been recognized with numerous awards for her research and writing, including the Association for Psychological Science’s Janet Taylor Spence Award for transformative early career contributions, the American Psychological Foundation’s Robert L. Fantz Memorial Award for Young Psychologists and the Psychonomic Society’s Outstanding Early Career Award.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.