Dr.Elaine Aron began researching high #sensitivity in 1991 and continue to do research on it now, also calling it Sensory-Processing Sensitivity (SPS, the trait’s scientific term).


The trait is normal. 15 to 20% of the population–too many to be a disorder, but not enough to be well understood by the majority of those around you.

It is innate. In fact, biologists have found it in over 100 species (and probably there are many more) from fruit flies, birds, and fish to dogs, cats, horses, and primates. This trait reflects a certain type of survival strategy, being observant before acting. The brains of highly sensitive persons (HSPs) actually work a little differently than others’.

More aware than others of subtleties. This is mainly because the brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply. So even if you wear glasses, for example, you see more than others by noticing more.

More easily overwhelmed. If you notice everything, you are naturally going to be over stimulated when things are too intense, complex, chaotic, or novel for a long time.

This trait is not a new discovery, but it has been misunderstood. Because HSPs prefer to look before entering new situations, they are often called “shy.” But shyness is learned, not innate. In fact, 30% of HSPs are extroverts, although the trait is often mislabeled as introversion. It has also been called inhibitedness, fearfulness, or neuroticism. Some HSPs behave in these ways, but it is not innate to do so and not the basic trait.

Sensitivity is valued differently in different cultures. In cultures where it is not valued, HSPs tend to have low self-esteem. They are told “don’t be so sensitive” so that they feel abnormal.


Thank you Dr. Elaine Aron