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 psychology, personality, judgment and decision-making, people analytics, sustainability, close 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. My projects blends psychology and tech to create scalable products and solutions for the common good. Some example are:

  • As the Research Director at See Change Institute, I worked to understand the human component of climate change and sustainability.  Primarily, I worked with utilities to design and evaluate behavioral interventions that motivate people to reduce their energy use at home and at work.  
  • As the co-founder and Chief Scientist at Character.io I leveraged recent developments in personality psychometrics to build a scientific, scalable, mobile-first platform for talent acquisition and development. I had tons of fun starting a companing and working on everything from product and brand strategy, to prototyping and testing, to raising venture capital and building strategic partnerships.
  • As one of the creators of YourMorals, I built and directed one of the earliest and largest web platforms for psychology research. Without any marketing, we built a community of over 1 million registered users which have given us 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 various projects related to my interests. With Target Smart, a political data company, I worked on adding psychographic predictors to a predictive model of voter opinion to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of political campaigns. 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 romantic partners assess and improve the state of their relationship and future plans.

I have more than a decade of quantitative and qualitative research experience. 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/