Graduate student completes dissertation about ASMR and skin conductance

Damiana Conti is  a graduate student pursuing her Masters of Science degree in the Department of Psychology at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy.

She focused her dissertation project on analyzing the subjective feelings and objective skin conductance responses to ASMR videos.

An increase in skin conductance is a measure of increased physiological arousal, like excitement or alertness.  ASMR is usually thought of as a state of relaxation with decreased arousal, although there are several reports that suggest ASMR has a slight increased level of physiological arousal to it.

Below are a summary of her methods, some of her exciting data, and a link to her completed dissertation.

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Participate in a research study about ASMR and unusual sensory experiences

Emma Palmer-Cooper is a Researcher at the University of Southampton in the UK.

She is conducting a research project titled, “Unusual experiences and the association with metacognition.”   This study includes unusual experiences such as ASMR.

Emma is looking for participants to take her online survey, which has been reviewed and approved by an Ethics Committee.

The survey is open to individuals who watch ASMR videos, are over 18 years of age, and have no personal or family history of psychosis.

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Is ASMR whispering bad for your throat or vocal cords?

The ASMR artist, Deni ASMRCZ, recently asked me if whispering is bad for the throat or vocal cords.

A 2006 research article stated, “For years, otolaryngologists and voice therapists have warned voice patients that whispering causes more trauma to the larynx than normal speech. However, no large series of patients has ever been examined fiberoptically during whispering to test this hypothesis.

In 2011, The New York Times asked Dr. Robert T. Sataloff, chairman of the otolaryngology department at Drexel University College of Medicine why clinicians recommend that patients avoid whispering.  He said this recommendation was based on “years of pronouncement and almost no research, like so much in medicine.”

Even when searching for more recent research publications, there doesn’t seem to be any research studies which clearly answer this question yet, but there are personal experiences, clinical opinions, and physiological studies.

I’ll cover all three of these types of sources.

Let’s begin in 2009 with the first ASMR artist, WhisperingLife.  She mentioned in some of her videos that whispering sometimes hurt her voice.  This may have been one of the reasons her videos were relatively short and averaged about 10 minutes long.

Jump forward to 2019.  I’ve created over 200 podcast episodes for the Sleep Whispers podcast of pure whispering, with an average length of 40 minutes each and a max length of 90 minutes.  I’ve never felt any discomfort in my throat or voice, but I do often feel like I am running out of breath.

So these two simple and personal examples highlight that whispering may create different types of discomfort for different individuals.

Let’s see what further evidence I can uncover for the effect of whispering on the throat and vocals.

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Participate in a research study about ASMR sensitivity

Safiyya Mank is an undergraduate psychology student at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England and also a research assistant for an ASMR project.

Her project is titled, “An investigation into ASMR and sensory sensitivity” and she is seeking participants who are 18 years or older for this study (sensitivity to ASMR triggers is not necessary).

Participants will access an online survey, watch an ASMR video, and answer questions about their ability to experience ASMR and how they normally react to specific sensory stimuli.

The survey has been approved by the University’s ethics committee, shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes, and will collect your replies anonymously.

The results of the study may be published in peer reviewed journals. Participants can obtain a full copy of the results of the research study by contacting the researcher.

She is being supervised by Dr. Thomas Hostler and Dr. Giulia Poerio, who published the first heart rate study about ASMR in 2018.

The survey closes soon, so click the link below to learn more or to participate if you are interested.

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High School student completes study about ASMR and gender

Lucas Simone is a junior at Willow Glen High School in San Jose, California.

For his AP Capstone Research Project, he chose to analyze the associations between gender and aspects of ASMR.

He surveyed over a hundred of his high school peers and collected data about  gender, stress, ASMR video viewing, ASMR feelings, ASMR frequency, and more.

Below are a summary of his methods, some of his data, and a link to his final AP Capstone Research Report.

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Published research study examines the content and comments of ASMR videos

Alexsandra Kovacevich and David Huron at Ohio State University have published a research paper about the content and comments of ASMR videos.

Their paper is titled, “Two Studies of ASMR: The Relationship between ASMR and Music-Induced Frisson” and was published  in Fall 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal, Empirical Musicology Review.

In this paper, the authors report the results of two studies.  The first study analyzed the content of ASMR videos and the second study analyzed comments about ASMR videos.

Below is a summary of their paper, followed by links to the published manuscript, supplementary materials, and a commentary article.

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Participate in a research study about ASMR, intelligence, and personality traits

Toloue Askarirad is a graduate student in the School of Psychology at The University of Adelaide in Australia.

Her research thesis is exploring an association between intelligence, personality traits, and ASMR, and is titled, “Do intelligence and personality traits influence ASMR perception?”

Toloue is looking for participants to take her online survey, which has been reviewed and approved by a Human Research Ethics Subcommittee.  The faculty supervisor of her project is Professor Nick Burns.

The survey is open to individuals who watch ASMR videos, is fully anonymous, will not take longer than 40 minutes, and the results will only be used for academic purposes.

The survey will remain open until 200 participants have participated (or until June 30th, 2019).

Below is a link to the survey and more information.

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Interesting data from an ASMR spa survey

Would you be interested in an ASMR spa?

Amanda Rose Doherty is currently an Account Manager at a software company in Barcelona, Spain.  She received her Business Studies Degree in Marketing at Dublin City University.

Amanda was considering the idea of opening an ASMR spa.  She created a survey in 2016 to assess interest in this idea  and I wrote an article about her with a link to her survey.

The bad news is that Amanda has shifted her focus away from creating an ASMR spa, but the good news is that she has shared the results of her survey with me – and the data shows that there is a strong interest in ASMR spas.

She had over 600 responses and has given me permission to share her interesting data below.  Below are results from her survey, followed by a link if you would like to learn more about her.

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Participate in a research study about ASMR experiences

Thomas Swart is a postgraduate student, pursuing his PhD in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

His research thesis is investigating the neurotransmitters, brain regions, and neural mechanisms that drive ASMR. In order to do this he aims to initially validate the presence of ASMR in individuals via an online questionnaire rather than solely relying on self-reported measures.

His thesis is titled: “Explaining Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response”, and his faculty advisor for the study is Dr. Michael Banissy, Professor of Psychology and Co-Head of Department at Goldsmiths University.  Dr Banissy has co-authored two prior published studies about ASMR.

Thomas is looking for participants to take his online survey, which has been reviewed and approved by an Ethics Committee.  The survey is open to everyone who is 18 or older, regardless if you do or don’t experience ASMR.  The survey is fully anonymous (GDPR-compliant), will take 30-40 minutes to complete, and the results will only be used for academic purposes.

The survey will remain open until sufficient responses enable a further revision of the questionnaire to more accurately validate the presence of ASMR in an individual.

Below is a link to the survey and more info.

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Participate in a research study about watching ASMR videos

Anthony El-Chaar is a graduate student, pursuing an M.A. in media studies at Notre Dame University in Lebanon.

His research thesis is investigating the experiences and motivations of watching ASMR videos. The thesis is titled: “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response: What is the Phenomenon Behind the Tingling Sensation?”  His faculty advisor for the study is Dr. Jessica El-Khoury, Assistant Professor at Notre Dame University.

Anthony is looking for participants to take his online survey. The survey is open to individuals who watch ASMR videos. The survey is fully anonymous and the results will only be used for academic purposes. The survey will take 10 minutes maximum to complete.

The survey will remain open until 300 participants have participated.

Below is a link to the survey and more info.

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