I use psychological insights, tools, and data to generate theoretically and empirically-informed strategies and solutions. I am a behavioral scientist and consultant with expertise in social and personality psychology, judgment and decision-making, people analytics, sustainability, relationships, ideology, and positive psychology.  I am broadly interested in working in tech, health, sustainability, policy, and education.

As an applied scientist I strive to enable ideas that improve individual, community, and global well-being. The projects I've worked on tend to blend psychology and tech to create scalable products and solutions for the common good. Some example are:

  • As the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Character I leveraged cutting edge personality science and psychometrics to build a scientific, scalable, mobile-first platform for talent acquisition and development. I enjoyed stepping out of my academic shoes to work on everything from product and business development, to brand strategy, to user testing, to raising venture capital. 
  • As a research consultant at See Change Institute, I work to understand the human component of climate change and sustainability.  Currently, I help utilities design, implement, and test interventions that motivate people to reduce their energy use at home and at work.  
  • As one of the creators of YourMorals, I built and directed one of the earliest and largest web platforms for psychology research. We have over 1 million registered users and data on thousands of variables across 300+ surveys and experiments. These data have led to dozens of scientific papers, cited thousands of times, and are featured in my colleague Jon Haidt's NYT Bestseller The Righteous Mind.
  • I also consult on one-off projects related to my interests. With Target Smart, a political data company, I worked on adding psychographic predictors to their voter opinion models. With the Lear Center for Media Research, I designed and conducted a program evaluation study of a media campaign for public education. And with Conscious Partnership, I created a tool to help couples assess and improve their romantic relationship.

I have more than a decade of quantitative and qualitative research experience, including survey and experimental design, psychometric assessment, data analysis, and literature review and synthesis.  In addition to research, consulting, and teaching, I write and give talks about psychological science for a general audience. I am passionate about science outreach and have volunteered for various prosocial organizations, like KPCC (a public radio station in Southern California) and The Story of Stuff Project.


Connect with me via sena.koleva@gmail.com or www.linkedin.com/in/senakoleva/