What Does It Mean To Be Sensitive? Serotonin, Stress, and the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
20 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2017 Last revised: 21 Jun 2018
Date Written: June 13, 2018
With origins in personality (psychology) research, the study of sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is aimed at understanding an estimated 20% of individuals classified as Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) according to the HSP Scale, a 27-item questionnaire developed by Aron and Aron in the 1990s. SPS is hypothesized to be an innate, cross- species variation in temperament associated with increased responsivity to environmental stimuli, including, in humans, (1) strong emotional reactions, (2) deep processing of sensory information, (3) high awareness of environmental subtleties, and (4) susceptibility to overstimulation. Based on the literature published to date, variations in the serotonergic system and exposure to stress may each contribute to an ‘HSP’ phenotype.
Keywords: Highly Sensitive Person, HSP, Psychology, Sensory Processing Sensitivity, SPS
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