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Sep. 25, 2008

This Time, It's Physiological

by Miriam Gordon

According to the diagnostic test in the ground-breaking book The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron, Ph.D., I am a "Highly Sensitive Person" (HSP). In her book, Dr. Aron, a pioneering psychologist, cites major studies demonstrating that approximately 15-20% of the human population possess a nervous system that, due to genetically inherited physiological characteristics, cause them to experience greatly heightened sensitivity to stress in any environment they find themselves in. This inherited trait of heightened arousal is demonstrated also in similar proportions (15-20%) in several other mammalian species. In other words, highly sensitive individuals are much more easily aroused by subtle cues in their environment, which many people are less likely to pick up on. Read more

About Miriam Gordon

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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