Kevin holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Missouri–Columbia. He spent 15 years as a professor and headed a large program with 150 instructors serving over ten thousand annual enrollments.
In an active research career spanning three decades, he’s authored over 40 peer-reviewed academic articles and presentations. He has also designed, analyzed, managed, or consulted on over a thousand basic and applied projects. His academic specializations are in social and behavioral research methodology, and in studying why people succeed or fail under challenging conditions. His new book, Your Life Lived Well, will be published in Fall, 2021.
A lifelong tech geek, he first set down in front of a computer in 1977 and was hacking into the ARPANET by the early ’80s. He has always employed computer modeling and digital technology in his research approach, effectively doing “data science” long before the field formally existed.
Kevin had a childhood dream of flight. He was serious about it, but fortunately managed to avoid major injuries from his youthfully misguided experiments with homemade parachutes. In the ’90s, he first took the Accelerated Free Fall skydiver training and logged a handful of jumps.
Then a lot of life got in the way: finishing his doctorate, growing his family, building his career, supporting a wife’s decade-long battle with cancer, and years of enduring the capriciously terrifying challenges of a body plagued by Multiple Sclerosis. Eventually, he despaired of ever returning to his dream.
But he vowed to find a way. In the summer of 2019, he threw himself into figuring out a way to make his wonky body safe and functional at terminal velocity, or landing a parachute even when he couldn’t feel his legs. With a lot of support from his sky family and lots of extra work, he managed to log more than 500 jumps (earning his coach rating) over the next year-and-a-half — 370 jumps in 2020, alone.
Now, weather permitting, you’ll find him in the sky. As he’s fond of saying, “someday, I may no longer be able to walk, but I will still fly!”
Living with MS
Dr. Payne has lived with multiple sclerosis for decades. He’s faced chronic pain, fatigue, trauma, and depression. He once gained and lost 120 pounds in the span of four years (and has kept it off since early 2002). He spent a decade supporting a wife on the verge of dying of cancer. He’s lived the challenges of chronic health conditions, both as diagnosed and caregiver.
Those experiences radically changed the course of his life. As a researcher, He did the only thing he knew to do: turned himself into a guinea pig and experimented relentlessly. But he wasn’t happy finding answers just for himself, so he interviewed hundreds, surveyed thousands, scraped 2.23 million data points from the open web, and re-analyzed over 7,000 studies on more than a hundred conditions to build practical solutions.
He discovered that most of our challenges aren’t directly from our medical symptoms, but from the practical, mental, emotional, and social fallout of managing a condition that will never go away. Medicine doesn’t have our solutions, or our conditions wouldn’t be chronic. We need quality of life care: grounded in science, driven by data, delivered with compassion, and personalized for everyone.
Dr. Kevin J. Payne
Kevin is a social psychologist and entrepreneur, author, podcast host, speaker, teacher, and frequent guest interview or panelist. He shares the results of his extensive research concerning how to live a quality life with chronic distress, pain, and illness. He also shares his personal exploits as a collector of experiences — even while battling Multiple Sclerosis for decades. Life is too remarkable to sit on the sidelines, even when we’ve got to get more creative about how we get in the game!
He was born and raised in the Kansas City Metro area. He can’t have too many books, is a lifelong tech geek, loves collecting new experiences, is devoted to his animals, pretty fond of his kids, and sometimes appears as a pirate.
He also never misses a chance to jump from a perfectly good airplane.
In 2012, Dr. Payne left the academy to become a full-time tech entrepreneur. He’s led enterprise generating millions in annual revenue and double-digit growth. He served as Founder of DART Research, Inc., Co-Founder of TeraCrunch, LLC, Chief Data Scientist of Sickweather, Inc., among others.
Through decades of consulting, he has advised dozens of enterprises. He focuses on helping early and growth stage, technology-driven companies — especially in the health, wellness, and education sectors. He remains committed to selectively advising these ventures.
His current company is his labor of love. Your Life Lived Well, LLC (formerly Chronic Cow, LLC) brings a new approach to supporting the cognitive, emotional, behavioral, social, and environmental quality of life challenges faced by those whose lives are touched by chronic illness. It delivers the education we need to live well under the strain of chronic distress, pain, and illness; the technology that analyzes us to find how each of us can successfully make — and stick with — the life changes we need; and the ongoing support to see us through the process.
WHY ACCESSPRESS THEMES
10 April 2013
Business Building CommunityThom Ruhe capped off this morning’s 1 Million Cups (congrats on the brand new site going live!) 1st birthday event with some thoughtful comments. One sentence especially struck me: “I think community is becoming a form of currency in our economy.” I re...
4 March 2013
Think like a Social ScientistI encourage everyone to think like a social scientist. Not all the time — that would be exhausting and you’d probably be accused of being a “creepy, monomaniacal over-analyzer” — but you should think like a social scientist when it matters. Why? Because ...
27 February 2013
Attention!What is Attention? Attention is the focus of our mental resources on some information, while filtering out other information. Attention is crucial to everything from better decisions to better relationships, yet everything about us — our bodies, minds, cultures, and...
I selectively advise early and growth stage tech, health, and wellness enterprises using my unique blend of behavioral science, social science, and entrepreneurial experience.
Workshops & Training
Teach executives, professionals & employees about two things:
(1.) how to easily integrate data and scientific thinking into your better decision-making, and (2.) how to operate successfully under distress.
Advising & Consulting
Advise organizations on the best ways to include data and social & behavioral science insights into existing workflows and decision-making so they won’t become blindsided by poor planning and wishful thinking.
Critical analysis of your organization or a specific program, process or policy, backed by real data and validated science, along with practical instructions for implementation, improvement and monitoring.
Interpretation & Reporting
Using social and behavioral science, as well as business & management experience, to answer all-important questions for technical, business, or consumer audiences. Formats include written reports, presentations, slide decks & dashboards.
A full range of statistical & machine learning approaches; parametric, nonparametric & mixed methods; predictive, prescriptive & causal models. I select the right technique to insure you have trustworthy answers.
Bad data are worse than none. Make sure you’re collecting the right data in the right ways to reliably answer your organization’s questions. Includes surveys, interviews, focus groups, experiments, incidental & secondary data.