Behavioural Science

Everything we do at HRW is underpinned by multidisciplinary science and our dedication to accessing reality, so clients have been coming to us with behavioural science questions for years.

So in 2016, we united our valued healthcare market research expertise with advanced capabilities in behaviour change and HRW Shift was born.

At HRW Shift, we believe a shift in thinking is required to shift behaviour. We recognise that in a growing, crowded, and nuanced healthcare marketplace, it is becoming more and more difficult to stand out. In this environment, little ‘nudges’ can make all the difference.


HRW Shift is our specialist team of behavioural science experts, who each hold deep expertise/qualifications in three key domains of behaviour change science:


This applied expertise is used to identify clues in healthcare professional and patient behaviour that give us an insight into the underlying cognitive processes. Shining a light on these hidden factors gives you an entirely new spark highlighting how to tackle problems, promote your product or understand your stakeholders.

What makes HRW Shift different from others is that they not only explain customer behaviour, but take it further in providing informed guidance on what to do next.

We provide evidence-based recommendations on strategies and “nudges” to change behaviour in the face of your unique challenges. We take behavioural insights from the theoretical to the tangible: delivering measurable strategic change that shows up on the bottom line.

That’s why HRW Shift is the industry’s most awarded behavioural science team…





Where does HRW Shift add value to your project?






What kind of business questions can HRW Shift help answer?


Market shaping and belief journey work

  • What could we do to create opportunities for customers to use our brand?
  • Who influences decisions?
  • How are people feeling at different stages of their journey and how are decisions different?
  • How do we break and create habits?


Understanding physician decision-making and deeper attitudes/brand perceptions

  • What really drives physician decisions?
  • How do physicians differentiate between brands?
  • Why do physician perceptions differ from the ‘hard’ data?
  • What does our brand stand for in HCP’s minds?


Patient work (taking control, improving health behaviours, adherence)

  • Why don’t people take their treatment?
  • Why are patients resistant to treatment change?
  • How do patients conceptualise their condition?
  • How do we empower patients to take control over their journey and support them to make the best decisions?


Campaigns/Communications research

  • What would be the most compelling way to communicate our message?
  • What messages would really overcome physician’s objections?
  • What’s the best way to frame our messages to really resonate with customers?
  • Which concept will best resonate?





Some of our Behavioural Science awards and Key Papers include:


Client Testimonials




Shift Team

Katy Irving
Global Head of Behavioural Science

Katy is the founder of HRW Shift. She has an MSc from the London School of Economics and is an active member of the London Behavioural Economics network. In addition to applying behavioural understanding on projects for clients, she attends and presents at global conferences about behavioural economics in pharma market research.


Allie Dautrich
Associate Director, Behavioural Science

Allie completed her BA in economics and brings years of market research experience to the HRW Shift team. In her academic studies, she gravitated toward decision-making and behavior modelling but couldn’t quite accept the assumptions of ‘rationality’ held by traditional economists. Ultimately, she found a home in behavioral economics and experimental research design and has enjoyed how the market research industry has matched her enthusiasm for transforming academic learnings into tangible solutions, especially in the complex and heightened emotional environments of healthcare research.


Emma Neville
Senior Behavourial Science Analyst

Bringing a multi-disciplinary background to the behavioural science team, Emma has expertise in psycho-linguistics, discourse analysis, and a wide range of cognitive and decision sciences. Her experience applying this expertise spans consumer, academic and public health contexts including institutions such as Proctor and Gamble, the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, and the Cambridge Department of Social Psychology. She holds a first-class MPhil degree in Philosophy of Science and Medicine from the University of Cambridge and continues to enjoy learning about feminist epistemology in her spare time.


Rhiannon Phillips
Behavourial Scientist

Rhiannon’s curiosity about all things behaviour is so ingrained it’s practically a character trait. Completing her MSc in Social Cognition from UCL also provided her with training in the foundations of behavioural economics, she hold an undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology as well as expertise in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). In short, if it helps explain and understand human behaviour, she wants to know!


Caitlin Reddiex
Senior Research Executive

Caitlin has a degree in Psychology, including years of applied expertise in accessing efficacy of applied psychological frameworks for belief change in the counselling setting and neurological disorders that she brings to HRW Shift to optimize behaviour change interventions and methodological design.


Iona Gillies
Research Executive

Iona holds an undergraduate degree in psychology, and as part of her degree, she completed a 12-month work placement specialising in research into neurological conditions. She now acts as a supporting member of the Shift team- offering her expertise in neuropsychology and methodological design.


Jennifer Vos
Research Executive

Jen has a BA Major in French with minors in Linguistics and Mandarin Chinese, as well as an MA in economics and International Relations. Her interest in understanding what drives how people understand the world around them and what can influence our perceptions initially expressed itself through a passion for language and culture, and quickly grew to encompass psychology and behavioural science. Since joining the Shift Team, Jen has enjoyed not only working on behavioural science insights, but also putting her linguistics knowledge to use as one of Shift’s linguistic and discourse analysts. 


Kiran Power
Research Manager

Kiran joined HRW in 2017 after completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology followed by a Master’s degree in Health Psychology from the University of Nottingham. This has provided Kiran with a solid grounding in key constructs including the HCP/Patient relationship and academic behaviour change models, and thus she works with the core Shift team to ensure these validated constructs in Health Psychology are applied.


Lea Couchman
Research Executive

Lea joined the Shift Team back in January 2020. Since then, she has worked on several Fathom Reviews and contributed behavioural science insights to numerous qualitative and quantitative research projects. She may already be familiar to regular listeners of the Shift Podcasts, having made a couple of guest appearances on these, and she is also a regular contributor to the Bias Friday newsletter.