i'm nika kabiri.
i help people live better lives through decision science.
My life wasn’t always this good.
In my 20s, I suffered from severe depression. Suicide often felt like the only option. Friends and family didn’t know what to do: if they didn’t blame me for being flawed, they pulled away. Therapy made me feel confused and misunderstood. Medication left me numb and detached.
Meanwhile, every choice I made put me in worse circumstances, which fed my angst and fueled the depression.
I wanted better, and it became evident that better decision-making was the way out.
So, I started making different choices. I started thinking more long-term. I began considering my options less emotionally, less irrationally. And with each decision, I found myself in better and better circumstances. I felt the depression slide away.
And then I went to grad school, where my understanding of decision-making leveled up. I studied under renowned scholars in rational choice theory. I learned about how our decisions create norms and institutions that then constrain our future choices. I studied how the human need for meaning-making shapes beliefs that we take for granted as facts, then rely on when we make choices. I learned about how our social networks are sources of information but also influence, to where changing your friends can change your life. And I learned about how our brains can move too quickly when making choices, landing us in places we don't want to be, without our realization.
Every bit of knowledge I acquired, I applied to my own life. With each personal experiment, the practical power of decision research became increasingly evident. In therapy, I looked inward for answers and found none, but as a social scientist studying decision-making, I found an amazing life.
I've spent 20+ years studying decision-making in a variety of contexts, from politics to relationships to business. I've coached individuals from all walks of life seeking guidance on romantic relationships, friendships, career, and more. I've worked with businesses including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, PepsiCo, General Mills, Oakley,as well as brand new tech startups, just to name a few. I've taught Decision Science at the University of Washington, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. I have a PhD in Sociology from the University of Washington and a JD from the University of Texas.
Today, I write and speak about decision-making as well as counsel individuals and businesses as they strive to make better decisions. I also serve as Senior Director of Decision Science at Clio.
I love my life now, and it's amazing that I came very close to not making it this far. When I make poor decisions (which is part of life), I’m rarely distressed or blindsided. I feel little regret. The more I learn about decision-making, the more empowered I become. The more equipped I am to manage life’s challenges.
I know that what I’ve learned can help others too. You can live a better life. We can live in a better world. I believe this.
It all starts with your next decision.