Jack Stevenson-Smith completed his Masters degree 2 years ago in the School of Psychology at the The University of Liverpool, UK.
He focused his Master’s research dissertation on ASMR and it was titled, “Bodily maps of novel somatosensation: Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR)”
In my interview with Jack he shares the inspiration for his research, his aims, hypotheses, and methods, the challenges he encountered, some great tips for other ASMR researchers, and his special moment with Dmitri, the ASMR artist known as massageASMR.
Below are my questions in bold and his replies in italics.
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.
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.
Christian S. is a junior high school student in New York. He is enrolled in an Advanced Placement course and has decided to do a research project about ASMR.
His research question is: “To what extent does Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) impact the levels of anxiety and depression in teens?”
He has created a survey for teenagers to investigate the relationship between watching ASMR videos and mental health.
Christian created questions about ASMR and also incorporated standardized questions from the Becks Depression Inventory and the Becks Anxiety Inventory to help him compare his results to other published results.
His survey is anonymous, specific for teenagers, and will remain open for about the next week.