Research Interests

My current work focuses on creativity and performance pressure, specifically examining how different forms of creative cognition (associative, problem-solving, analytic) are affected by different mechanisms of performance pressure (working memory load, anxious mood, arousal). See the “Creativity Under Performance Pressure” tab for more information.

My work at the University of Chicago also focused on factors affecting performance, with influences from educational and social fields. This includes questions such as: How do parents and teachers pass on gender-math attitudes to their children/students? How do theories of intelligence, and adult endorsement of them, affect the motivation and performance of young children? Although I haven’t yet had the opportunity, I’d love to apply theories of performance to the novel field of video game research.

Key concepts: Creativity, high-stakes performance, insight, expertise, gender bias, cognitive sciences, video games

Selected Works

Park, D., Schaeffer, M., Nolla, K., Levine, S., & Beilock, S. (2016). “How do generic statements impact performance? Evidence for entity beliefs.” Developmental Science.

Miller, D., Nolla, K., Eagly, A., & Uttal, D. “How Have Children’s Gender-Science Stereotypes Changed Over Time? A Meta-Analysis.” Poster Presented At: Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2014.

Nolla, K., Park, D., Ramirez, G., & Beilock, S. “Don’t carry your worry, leave it behind: Effects of expressive writing depend on physical carrying of worry writing.” Poster Presented At: Midwestern Psychological Association, 2013.


One reason I love studying creativity is because I’m an artist myself—I love to write, draw, paint, act, sing, and play piano. However, I spend most of my free time playing video games, or on the weekends, playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends.

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