A peer-reviewed research study is the first to report physiological changes while individuals experience ASMR.
The publication is titled, “More than a feeling: ASMR is characterized by reliable changes in affect and physiology” and is authored by Giulia Lara Poerio, Emma Blakey, and Theresa Veltri from the University of Sheffield (UK) and Thomas Hostler from the Manchester Metropolitan University (UK). The research was published June 20, 2018 in the journal PLOS ONE.
The publication reported the results of two studies. The first study involved about 1000 participants watching videos and reporting how they felt. The second study involved about 100 participants watching videos, reporting how they felt, and having some physiological responses measured.
I will first summarize the methods and results of the first study, then summarize the methods and results of the second study.
Vladimir Fedoseev is a graduate student pursuing his MBA at the Varna University of Management in Varna, Bulgaria (a partner university of Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales).
His dissertation is investigating the involvement of ASMR in the service industry and is titled, “Effect of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) on Service User Experience”
This is an interesting topic. How do the caring dispositions, light touches, hand movements, and personal attention from hairdressers, servers, and hotel staff affect our experience (and perhaps the tips)? Does being able to experience ASMR influence these interactions?
You can take his survey (link below) to share your experiences and perspectives.
I initially reported about this published study on November 1, 2017, but this article will now share more details and summarize the data.
The study is titled, “Sensory determinants of the autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR): understanding the triggers” and was published October 6, 2017 in PeerJ by Emma Barratt, Charles Spence, and Nick Davis.
Of historical note, Barratt and Davis were the co-authors of the first ASMR research study published in 2015. In this new study they investigate some of the traits of ASMR triggers.
Romke Rouw of the University of Amsterdam and Mercede Erfanian of Maastricht University, both located in The Netherlands, have published a research paper on misophonia.
The paper is titled, “A large-scale study of misophonia” and was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology as an epub in May 2017 and then as a journal article in March 2018.
The research study focuses mostly on misophonia but it does contain some data about ASMR.
Andrew Smith is an undergraduate student at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at The University of Dundee, Scotland.
He focused his final year dissertation project on ASMR to fulfill the requirements for his Bachelor of Design degree (with Honors).
Andrew’s completed dissertation was 47 pages (~10,000 words), was titled, “An investigation into the interconnected nature of aesthetics, sensory perception and sensory phenomena” and weaved together the following topics:
- The Golden Rectangle (a shape linked to art, design, and architecture)
- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (a therapy for trauma patients)
- Brain Wave States, Hypnosis, & REM, Sleep
- Brain Default Mode Network & Synaesthesia
- Interpersonal bonding
- Senses, Sensory Processing Disorder, & Autism
Last month I reported about a research project looking for participants to view and respond to animations of synthetic ASMR triggers.
The project is now complete and Marcus Nystrand, an undergraduate student at Beckmans College of Design in Sweden, has shared the results publicly.
Some of the results surprised us both.
Applebee’s joins Sony, Toyota, Pepsi, KFC, Dove, Ritz, IKEA, and Glenmorangie Whisky in utilizing ASMR videos for marketing.
The new video is posted on their YouTube video channel, “Applebee’s Grill & Bar” and the video is titled, “[ASMR] One Hour of Soothing Grill Sounds – Sizzling Meat”
Helle Breth Klausen is pursuing her Ph.D. from the Department of Media and Journalism studies at Aarhus University in Denmark.
For her PhD dissertation she will be characterizing ASMR through the experiences of ASMR video viewers.
In my interview with Helle she shares why she decided to study ASMR, her primary hypothesis and methods, preliminary results she acquired with her Master’s dissertation, and her plans to share the results from this project.
Marcus Nystrand is an undergraduate student in the Visual Communications program at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, Sweden.
For his graduation project he decided to create videos with synthetic ASMR triggers and survey if they are able to stimulate ASMR in viewers.
What are “synthetic ASMR triggers?” Marcus created computer-generated animations that have some properties of ASMR triggers (e.g., movements, sounds) but without the presence of human forms (e.g., hands) or human objects (e.g., brushes).
In short, his project is asking, “Can non-human motions, items, and sounds trigger ASMR?”
His animations are extremely high quality, very imaginative, and deeply mesmerizing. Will they trigger your ASMR?
Read on to learn a bit more about his project, then click the link to view his amazing videos and answer his short survey questions.
Melina Delanghe is a graduate student at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Brussels, Belgium. She is pursuing her Master’s Degree in psychology in the Department of Biological & Cognitive Psychology.
For her Master’s Thesis, she decided to do an ASMR research project with Dr. Elke Van Hoof as her faculty advisor.
She investigated the ability of ASMR videos to affect the heart rates of individuals diagnosed as Highly Sensitive Persons and also in a control group.