Hristina Nikolova is a behavioral data scientist and consumer insights expert on joint decision-making with 12+ years of experience conducting award-wining quantitative and qualitative research published in top academic and practitioner journals. Nikolova’s research focuses on dyadic decision-making, interpersonal relationships, and data-driven consumer welfare interventions. Specifically, Nikolova has two research streams: (1) the influence of dyadic decision-making contexts (e.g., decisions made jointly by two partners, such as choosing a restaurant/movie, buying a home, or making long-term retirement choices together) on consumer behavior (her primary area of research expertise and interest); and (2) data-driven consumer welfare interventions.

Nikolova’s pioneering research work on dyadic decision-making work has won several research awards including but not limited to: the Society for Consumer Psychology Early Career Award (2023), the Journal of Marketing Research Paul E. Green Award Finalist (2023), the Franco Nicosia ACR Competitive Paper Award (2019), John A. Howard/American Marketing Association Doctoral Dissertation Award (2014), American Marketing Association CBSIG Rising Star Award (2014), Association for Consumer Research/Sheth Foundation Dissertation Award (2012), Society for Marketing Advances Dissertation Proposal Runner-Up Award (2012), the Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Highly Commended Award (2012), and the Academy of Marketing Science Mary Kay Dissertation Competition Honorable Mention (2013). In addition, her research contributions were recognized by the prestigious Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar award (2019).

Nikolova’s research has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Retailing, and Psychology & Marketing, and featured in the Wall Street Journal, Time, Forbes, Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, ABC News, Expert Beacon, Shape, and Allure among others.


Ph.D., Marketing, University of Pittsburgh

B.S., Finance and Marketing, Ramapo College of New Jersey

Awards and Recognition

  • Society for Consumer Psychology Early Career Award, 2023
  • Journal of Marketing Research Paul E. Green Award Finalist, 2023
  • The Franco Nicosia ACR Competitive Paper Award, 2019
  • Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar, 2019
  • AMA CBSIG Rising Star Award, 2014

Selected Publications

Kovacheva, Aleksandra and Hristina Nikolova (2023), “The Value of the Unknown: A Framework and Research Agenda for Strategic Surprise Marketing.” Forthcoming at the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.

Nikolova, Hristina (2023), “Marketing in an Identity-Threatened World: Consumer Coping Strategies and Consumption.” Psychology & Marketing, 40(2), 408-426.

Cakanlar, Aylin, Hristina Nikolova, and Gergana Nenkov (2023), “I Will Be Green for Us: When Consumers Compensate for Their Partners' Unsustainable Behavior.” Journal of Marketing Research, 60 (1), 110–129.

Nikolova, Hristina and Gergana Nenkov (2022), “We Succeeded Together, Now What: Relationship Power and Sequential Decisions in Couples' Joint Goal Pursuits,”Journal of Marketing Research, 59 (2), 271-289.

Garbinsky, Emily, Joe Gladstone, Hristina Nikolova, and Jenny Olson (2020), “Love, Lies, and Money: Financial Infidelity Within Romantic Relationships.” Journal of Consumer Research, 47 (1), 1-24.\

Lowe, Michael, Hristina Nikolova, Chadwick J. Miller, and Sara Loughran Dommer (2019), “Ceding and Succeeding: How the Altruistic Can Benefit from the Selfish in Joint Decisions.” Journal of Consumer Psychology, 29 (4), 652-661.

Nikolova, Hristina, Cait Lamberton, and Nicole Verrochi Coleman (2018), “Stranger Danger: When and Why Consumer Dyads Behave Less Ethically Than Individuals,” Journal of Consumer Research, 45 (1), 90-108.

Nikolova, Hristina and Cait Lamberton (2016), “Men and the Middle: Gender Differences in Dyadic Compromise Effects,” Journal of Consumer Research, 43 (3), 355-371.

Dzhogleva Nikolova, Hristina and J. Jeffrey Inman (2015), “Healthy Choice: The Effect of Simplified POS Nutritional Information on Consumer Choice Behavior.” Journal of Marketing Research, 52 (6), 817-835.

Dzhogleva, Hristina and Cait Poynor Lamberton (2014)Should Birds of a Feather Flock Together? Understanding Self-Control Decisions in Dyads,” Journal of Consumer Research, 41 (2), 361-380.