Professor Paul M.W. Hackett (IHWB)

Visiting Professor of Health Research Methods

Research Directorate

Paul Hackett is a psychologist with a background in both applied and theoretical psychology, social/environmental/health psychology, research methods and fine art. His research is concerned with the categorical understanding that humans have of their world and how such understanding underpins and facilitates behaviour. This interest draws upon several branches of psychology, philosophy, art, anthropology, ethnography and psychometrics and research methods in my research into cognition, affect, behaviour and experience. Over three plus decades he has developed a qualitative and philosophical orientation within the facet theory perspective and an approach to research known as the declarative mapping approach (DMA) with its major component the declarative mapping sentence (DMS). The DMA has facilitated him being able to advance an ontological and mereological understanding of many aspects of the lives of both human and non-human animals.

The theoretical DMA framework that he has proposed has enabled him, his students and collaborators to conduct empirical investigations that has allowed the development of the facet theory research approach outside of its traditional quantitative, psychometric applications. This has been brought about by conducting studies within areas such as philosophy from the African continent, education, marketing, consumer behaviour, business, management, environmentalism, health and wellbeing, medical practice, avian cognition and many other areas. The qualitative facet theory approach, along with the declarative mapping sentence, is continuing to enable research to be conducted and knowledge to be developed in areas of behaviour and experience that involve complex arrays of multiple variables  and aspects within the situation of the behaviour’s occurrence.

Paul has held positions at Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Birmingham, Cardiff and several other universities. These appointments have enabled him to expand his research and writing and his position as visiting research professor at Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria has facilitated the philosophical extension of his scholarship. He is a visiting scholar at the Royal Anthropological Institute, senior affiliated faculty at Emerson College and an honorary fellow in the philosophy department and a doctoral supervisor in psychology at the University of Wales Trinity St David. Paul holds PhDs in psychology and fine art.

Paul’s more than 250 publications include over 25 books and his articles have appeared in leading journals such as: Frontiers in Psychology and Sociology; International Journal of Social Research Methodology; Psychometrika; Environment and Behavior; Multivariate Behavior Research; Perceptual and Motor Skills; Personality and Individual Differences. His teaching also embraces and directly involves the conceptualising of behaviour (in its broadest sense) as being complex, holistic and best understood using multi-component approaches and complex qualitative methods.

He has had long associations with nursing and has also worked in several health departments and fields, including, oncology, diabetes and dentistry. He is a fellow of the Massachusetts Psychological Association and is a chartered psychologist.

During his time as a visiting professor at the University of Suffolk, Paul has collaborated with many academics and students form the university resulting in several book and articles being published. It is Paul’s hope that his appointment at the University of Suffolk will allow further collaboration (in terms of research and teaching) with members of the university staff and its students.