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What is the point of the study?

This study is investigating imaginative experiences, self-identity, and paranormal beliefs. It is being conducted as part of the Hearing the Voice project at Durham University. Our aim is to understand more about these experiences, and how they fit in with other experiences in everyday life.

Who can take part, and what does it involve?

Anyone aged 18-75 can take part. Taking part involves answering some questions about unusual experiences that some people experience, about things that are important to your self-identity, and about your imagination.

Will everything I write be kept private?

Yes. All responses to the questionnaire will be kept anonymously and confidentially. You do not have to provide any information that could be used to identify you.

What are the benefits and risks of taking part?

We cannot promise that the study will help you personally, but the information you and others give us will help to better understand unusual experiences, what they are like for people, and how they link to other aspects of everyday life. We do not foresee any significant risks to people who participate in the study. However, reflecting on and describing some experiences might be distressing for some people. If you do find yourself becoming distressed, we recommend that you stop filling in the questionnaire. You also have the right to not answer any questions that you would prefer to leave blank.

If you live in the UK and need to seek immediate support, sources include: Samaritans (tel: 08457 90 90 90) and SANEline (tel: 08457 678 000).

What happens to my responses if I withdraw from the study?

You are free to withdraw from the study at any point, simply by closing your web browser and exiting the survey. If you do this, your responses will be discarded and not included as part of the study. If you finish the survey and decide at a later date that you would like to withdraw your data, you can do so by telling us your response number – this will be provided in a receipt at the end of the survey.

If you have any further questions or would like more information, please contact Dr. Peter Moseley (Research Associate, Durham University) or Dr Victoria Patton (Communications Officer, Hearing the Voice, Durham University) on +44 (0)191 334 8163, or via email at