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Psychological research: what counts as ‘normal’?

We are a research group from the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge,investigating individual differences in how the mind works. Our research aims to provide a better understanding about the brain and behavioural differences within the general population, as well as those who have a psychiatric diagnosis. We are inviting you and your partner (if applicable) to join our research panel of adults so we can collect data that represents the make-up of adults in Cambridgeshire, across all socioeconomic and educational levels.


You have been contacted because your son/daughter attends a primary school in Cambridgeshire, and we are writing to every parent who has a child age 5-11 years old in primary education. We need as many people as possible to help our research and it will only take you 5 minutes!


If you are interested in being part of our volunteer panel, please go to our secure website at If you register, we will ask you to provide some background information about yourself, and then you can go on to take some questionnaires and tests online. You can complete these at your leisure by logging in and out of your volunteer homepage with your chosen login details and will only need to complete them once. We will also encourage you to invite your partner (if applicable) to register (you can do this from your volunteer homepage once you are registered).


We will also contact you from time to time to tell you about new projects which might be of interest to you. Many of our research projects only involve filling in 5 minute questionnaires or doing tasks online. Some of our studies involve being assessed by one of our team (such as brain scanning studies). You are under no obligation to participate in any of the projects but you may find them fascinating and taking part is an excellent way to see what research is going on in Cambridge University. Any information you provide is entirely confidential. You can opt out at any time and we will remove your details, and any data you have provided, from our volunteer database. If you have any questions about registering as a volunteer, please contact our Volunteers Coordinator Paula Smith (

There is also a Participant Information Sheet for additional information (link to  PIS or

For more information about our research into psychiatric conditions such as autism, please visit


Thank you for considering our request.


Best wishes


Professor Simon Baron-Cohen

Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry

University of Cambridge.

Learning for life - to be the best we can possibly be