Email Email Link Website

Paul Hackett is an active teacher and researcher. His research and teaching is rooted in the category-based system for understanding complex behavior known as facet theory. His interest in ontological categories has expanded from facet theory, to mapping sentences and then to metaphysics and ontology in a more general sense. He has published books and papers in this area.

Paul currently holds a visiting chair (full professor) in the Department of Psychology, School of Natural and Social Sciences, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK (2016-2019). He is also a visiting researcher at Cambridge University, UK, in the Department of Psychology. Here, he is working with Professor Nicola Clayton in her Comparative Cognition Lab on the development of a structural model for Corvid cognition and with Jessica Schwarzenbach on the attitudes of scientists working in avian cognition. 

During 2015-16, Paul was a visiting academic in the Philosophy Department at Oxford University, UK, where he conducted research into structural ontologies. More specifically, these ontologies were associated with human visual perception of abstract fine art. His work at Oxford has led to the publication of two books and an exhibition of his artwork, which is based upon his research and writing.  

Paul Hackett has held positions at Birmingham University, Cardiff University and Worcester University in the United Kingdom and Tufts University in the United States. He has a wide background in the humanities and social sciences (psychology, philosophy, sociology, religious studies, fine art) where his work has been focused through a facet theory mereology.

While at Birmingham University Business School, Paul developed his interested in the consumer research theory and structural (psychological/behavioral) explanations of consumer behavior. His research interests focus upon facet theoretical and qualitative approaches to research especially as this applies to consumer psychology research, situated consumer behavior and store design and the measurement of consumert behavior in a variety of settings.

Hackett has published numerous books, chapters, and journal articles in the area at the intersection of research methodology, psychology and philosophy.

His books include: Conservation and the Consumer: Understanding Environmental Concern, (Routledge  1995), 

Fine Art and Perceptual Neuroscience: Field of Vision and the Painted Grid, Explorations in Cognitive Psychology Series, (Psychology Press, 2013), 

Facet Theory and the Mapping Sentence: Evolving Philosophy, Use and Application,(Palgrave McMillan, 2014), 

Qualitative Research Methods in Consumer Psychology: Ethnography and Culture,(Routledge, 2015),  

Psychology and Philosophy of Abstract Art: Neuro-aesthetics, Perception and Comprehension. (Palgrave McMillan, 2016),

The Perceptual Structure of Three-Dimensional Art: A Mapping Sentence Mereology (SpringerBriefs in Philosophy), (Springer, 2017),

with Jessica Schwarzenbach: Transatlantic Reflections on the Practice-Based PhD in Fine Art (Routledge Research in Education), (Routledge, 2015)

and with Jessica Schwarzenbach and Uta Jurgens: Consumer Psychology: A Study Guide to Qualitative Research Methods. (Barbara Budrich, 2016)

He is involved in several other writing projects.

His research and writing has appeared in many prestigious journals, including Psychometrika, International Review of Retail, Distribution, and Consumer Research; Environment and Behavior; the British Journal of Management; Multivariate Behavior Research, and others. Dr. Hackett is a chartered psychologist also an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, a fellow of the Massachusetts Psychological Association, the Royal Anthropological Institution and a member of the Facet Theory Association.

A practicing and showing artist, his mixed media paintings draw heavily on neuroscience to depict the physiological and psychological basis of visual perception, have been exhibited in England, Wales, Scotland, Iceland, and the US.



B.Sc., University of Aston, Birmingham (Duplicate of Aston University)
M.A., University of Gloucestershire
Ph.D., University of Aston, Birmingham (Duplicate of Aston University)
Ph.D., University of Gloucestershire

Areas of Expertise

  • Philosophy


Conservation and the Consumer: Understanding Environmental Concern. London: Routledge Publishers


Gridworks 2005. Liskard: Diggory Press.


Field of Vision, Lochmaddy: Taigh Chearsabagh Museum and Art Centre, Scottish Arts Council.


Fine Art and Perceptual Neuroscience: Field of Vision and the Painted Grid, Explorations in Cognitive Psychology Series, Psychology Press.


Facet Theory and the Mapping Sentence: Evolving Philosophy, Use and Application, Palgrave McMillan Publishers.


Schwarzenbach, J.B., & Hackett, P.M.W. The Ph.D. in Fine Art, (Contracted book for Routledge, Publishers, Summer 2015)


Qualitative Research Methods in Consumer Psychology: Ethnography and Culture, Routledge Publishers (Contracted book, publication Summer 2015)


The Psychology of Abstract Art: Neuro-aesthetics, Perception and Comprehension, (contracted book for Palgrave McMillan, publication 2015 - 16)


Perceiving Art Space: a Mapping Sentence Mereology, Springer Briefs in Philosophy. (contracted book for Springer, publication 2015 - 16)


Qualitative Research Methods for Psychology: A Comprehensive Guide, New York: Springer, (contracted book for Springer, publication Spring/Summer 2017)


Awards & Honors

Associate Fellow British Psychological Association


Fellow Massachusetts Psychological Association


Fellow Royal Anthropological Institute


Visitin Academic, Department of Philosophy, Oxford University, England