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Introducing our behavioural psychology expert

Dr Mark Haselgrove

Whether it's getting people to buy a product or persuading them to use a service, we're in the business of changing consumer behaviour. That's why we wanted to incorporate an additional layer of behavioural psychology expertise across all of our projects. That's when Dr Mark Haselgrove stepped in.

Joining us from Behavioural Science faculty at the University of Nottingham, Mark has a PhD in the fundamental properties and mechanisms of learning and behaviour. And with over 50 articles and two books published, Mark brings a wealth of knowledge to the agency that will help us on our journey to creating change at an emotional level.

Want to find out more about Dr Haselgrove? Let’s take a deep dive into all things Mark.

Mark Haselgrove

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Raisin and almond granola with a substantial mug of coffee.

Tell us a little bit about your background?

I graduated from the University of Reading with a 1st class degree in BSc psychology in 1997, and then did a PhD at the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. My background is as an academic - teaching and researching the psychology of learning and behaviour at Nottingham University.

What made you want to study behavioural psychology?

I discovered psychology by accident really - I started off doing a secondary-education teaching degree, but in my first year realised that this wasn’t for me. However, during this year I encountered a bit of psychology, and it fascinated me, so I changed to a psychology degree. There, I had an amazing lecturer who introduced me to learning and behaviour and I was hooked immediately.

Describe your typical day as Associate Professor at University of Nottingham.

If I’ve got a lecture in the morning, then I will make some final preparations for this before heading off to the lecture theatre to stand and talk in front of hundreds of students for an hour or two – which can be exhausting. In the afternoon I will aim to do some research, either designing new experiments, analysing data or writing up the research for publication. However, the relentless tide of emails also demands my time, sadly.

What are you hoping to bring to the agency?

Ultimately, branding and marketing tries to change people’s behaviour. For example, to change their loyalty from one brand to another - and I’m hoping to bring insights from behavioural science to this. I think a lot of the team in the agency are already amazing behavioural scientists – they just haven’t had seven years of training in it! Maybe that’s a good thing!

How has your time at the agency been so far?

It’s been amazing! Within a few weeks I have been involved in some really varied projects. Last week I was in the metaverse talking about cultured meat and the uncanny valley, the week I researched the “psychology of safe” to feed into the brand tone of voice for a client. It’s been great to meet to whole team – everyone is really engaged and good at what they do. The banter is pretty good too.

You have published 2 books; can you tell us a little bit about them?

Both of my books are about learning – the way in which experience changes behaviour. My first book focused on how learning can help us understand conditions like depression, phobias and schizophrenia. My second book was for a much wider audience and opens up the whole topic of learning to anyone who is interested. It’s very short and is available at all good bookshops.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I do love being a nerd and just diving into a load of data to try and work out what is going on in a research project. However, every now and then in everyday life I‘ll see people do a behaviour of some kind; and It’s quite satisfying to have a bit of an insight into why that behaviour has happened. That said, it’s also pretty amazing when people do stuff that is totally unexpected and I have to have a big rethink!

What’s your least favourite part of the job?

Attending meetings that could have been an email.

Outside of work, what are your hobbies?

I love walking in the Peak District with my border collie, Jack and exploring the fells of the Lake district (when it’s not raining).

What projects are you most excited to get involved with? (If any)

I have heard a lot about the sensory-qual team at MMR; I think they are doing some amazing work and I’m looking forward to getting involved with them. Closer to Together, I’ve really enjoyed seeing my behavioural insights be translated by the creative team and incorporated into some amazing designs.


Want to find out how our mix of behavioural science and creative concepts can help your brand? Get in touch here.

Or you can check out more of our work here.

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