Sounds like whispering and tapping can induce relaxation (like ASMR) or annoyance (like misophonia) in the listener. The variety of these different responses to the same triggers is not well understood.
During this study, you will listen to a variety of sounds and rate how each one makes you feel. You will also complete some questionnaires on general sensory sensitivity, emotional reactivity, and personality traits. Your participation in this study may require 30-60 minutes.
This study is being conducted by student researcher Dodi Swan-Capper, post-doctoral research fellow Dr. Nora Andermane, and student researcher Mathilde Bauer.
The study is being supervised by Dr. Jamie Ward, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, from the School of Psychology, University of Sussex, and has been approved by the Sciences & Technology Cross-Schools Research Ethics Committee
This is the second ASMR research study published by Dr Agnieszka Janik McErlean (Bath Spa University, UK) and Dr Michael Banissy (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK).
Their prior study was titled, “Assessing individual variation in personality and empathy traits in self-reported ASMR” and was published March 30, 2017 in the journal Multisensory Research.
Their latest study is titled, “Increased misophonia in self-reported ASMR” and was published August 6, 2018 in the journal PeerJ.
Misophonia is common in discussions about ASMR because some people greatly enjoy ASMR trigger sounds like whispering, mouth sounds, and chewing but others will respond to those same sounds with annoyance, anger, or anxiety (misophonia).
Curiously, some people who report experiencing ASMR to some triggers also report experiencing misophonia to other triggers. This hyper-sensitivity to sounds has people often wondering if people who experience ASMR are more likely to also experience misophonia.
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.
Dr. Tammy Dempster has her BSc in Psychology and her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuropsychology. She is currently researching ASMR and misophonia with colleagues at Canterbury Christ Church University in the UK.
About a year ago she first learned about ASMR and quickly became fascinated in the topic. She has now created an online research survey to begin collecting data to help progress the understanding of ASMR and to help guide further ASMR research projects.
In my interview with Dr. Dempster she shares how she first learned about ASMR, the objectives of her research study, some preliminary trends in the data collected so far, and more.
Below are my questions in bold, her replies in italics, and a link to her online research survey so you may participate.