Dr John Lawson

Oxford Brooke's University

John's background is in Social Psychology. He studied at the University of Cambridge gaining a B.A. (honours) and M.A. He transferred to the department of Psychiatry (ARC) at the University of Cambridge where he completed a PhD on entitled 'The Empathising-Systemising model of Autism Spectrum Conditions'.

He is the Director of Studies for Social and Political Science at Girton College, Cambridge, and Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Oxford Brookes University.

His research is focused on 3 main areas:

  • An examination of autism spectrum conditions (ASC) in terms of the specific cognitive deficits and talents involved.
  • An investigation of the 'extreme male brain' theory of autism; this model situates people with ASC at the extreme end of a continuum that includes the general population.
  • A critical exploration of how ASC should be conceptualised. More specifically, whether a distinction made in the philosophy of science and critical realism, between open and closed systems, is the key factor in characterising the condition.

Several new tests have been devised to study these areas such as the Social Stories Questionnaire (SSQ), the Physical Prediction Questionnaire (PPQ) the Activities and Pastimes Questionnaire (APQ), the Thoughts and Feelings Questionnaire (TFQ) and the Moral Orientation Questionnaire (MOQ). Some results from these tasks are in print and others are in progress.

He is currently writing a book entitled 'The Role of Autism in Shaping Society' which combines most of the research areas listed above.


About us What is autism FAQs ARC Milestones
Patrons Funders
Clinics Training