Marilu Hayes
Joined Meer in February 2024
Marilu Hayes

Born in South Africa, Marilu initially completed her BBA Brand Building and Management in 2015 and worked in the marketing industry as a strategist. She also owned a coffee shop and did events such as baby showers and kitchen teas. Marketing sparked her interest in human behaviour and she started looking into neuromarketing which lead her to consumer psychology. In 2018 she took the leap to pursue her understanding of human behaviour by moving to Wales, UK to do an MSc in Consumer Psychology with Business which she passed with Merit in 2019.

For the dissertation she completed in 2019 she was particularly interested in a research topic that investigated curiosity and the influence of norepinephrine on the anticipation of a reward. She was able to use this and apply it to consumer behaviour and how curiosity makes players of massive multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs) more likely to purchase mystery bundles when playing MMORPGs. She has experience conducting research via various research methods and tools as this was required during her masters. For example she made use of video equipment to capture how people were interacting with various packaging for one study and the ANT test to test alertness, orientation and executive function, for another.

After completing her Masters she got married and moved to York where she looked into starting a podcast. She recently launched FACETS with Marilu, a psychology and neuroscience podcast that explores daily life through a psychological and a neuroscience perspective. She creates content for the podcast by looking at current research and applying that to daily activities and then explaining it in a relatable manner. For her first episode she compared motivation and discipline considering factors such as attention and cognition and how this affects behaviour. She based her analysis on the findings in a study that investigated the effects of mixed martial arts on attentional networks. In the episode she also considered why certain people may be more successful than others as a result of being more disciplined. She has also approached some learned individuals like Dr Kiltz, a reproductive endocrinologist, who will be interviewing her in the near future.

Apart from writing for MEER, Marilu is passionate about helping people and is currently also volunteering at Alternatives to Violence Project where she is consulting as a behavioural expert. She and another psychologist are conducting research and assisting in creating a violence prevention course aimed at teens and young adults.

Marilu’s interest in the field of neuroscience and her passion for learning has inspired her to do various online courses, the latest being a course in Medical Neuroscience offered by Duke University. In this course she explored neuroanatomy and neurobiological frameworks that not only contributes to our basic bodily functions, cognition and behaviour but also that shape our understanding of the world.

Being passionate about helping people and having experienced how cognitive and behavioural changes affect not only the patient but the people around them has nudged Marilu to further her education to enable her to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Neuropsychology. Becoming a Clinical Neuropsychologist stemmed from understanding behaviour, cognition and emotional experience in cases where a brain injury, psychological or psychiatric disorder is present. This led her to do her own research and a study by Hunter, G., Hoffman et al., using VR as a nonopioid tool to treat acute pain sparked her curiosity to hypothesise whether this could be used in patients that suffer with PTSD or addiction.

Other than the brain, Marilu is passionate about art and paints or sketches when she has the opportunity. She also enjoys travelling and learning about different cultures and is of the opinion that our culture contributes to who we are as a person. Health and fitness is also very close to her heart so this theme will be present in a lot of her work.

Articles by Marilu Hayes

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