Are you a highly sensitive person?
Instructions: Answer each question according to the way you personally feel. Check the box if it is at least somewhat true for you; leave unchecked if it is not very true or not at all true for you.
Aron & Aron 1997
- Are you easily overwhelmed by strong sensory input?
- Do you seem to be aware of subtleties in your environment?
- Do other people’s moods affect you?
- Do you tend to be more sensitive to pain?
- Do you find yourself needing to withdraw during busy days, into bed or into a darkened room or any place where you can have some privacy and relief from stimulation?
- Are you particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine?
- Are you easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens close by?
- Do you have a rich, complex inner life?
- Are you made uncomfortable by loud noises?
- Are you deeply moved by the arts or music?
- Does your nervous system sometimes feel so frazzled that you just have to go off by yourself?
- Are you conscientious?
- Do you startle easily?
- Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
- When people are uncomfortable in a physical environment do you tend to know what needs to be done to make it more comfortable (like changing the lighting or the seating)?
- Are you annoyed when people try to get you to do too many things at once?
- Do you try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things?
- Do you make a point to avoid violent movies and TV shows?
- Do you become unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around you?
- Does being very hungry create a strong reaction in you, disrupting your concentration or mood?
- Do changes in your life shake you up?
- Do you notice and enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, works of art?
- Do you find it unpleasant to have a lot going on at once?
- Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
- Are you bothered by intense stimuli, like loud noises or chaotic scenes?
- When you must compete or be observed while performing a task, do you become so nervous or shaky that you do much worse than you would otherwise?
- When you were a child, did parents or teachers seem to see you as sensitive or shy
If you answered more than fourteen of the questions as true of yourself, you are probably highly sensitive. But no psychological test is so accurate that an individual should base his or her life on it. We psychologists try to develop good questions, then decide on the cut off based on the average response.
If fewer questions are true of you, but extremely true, that might also justify calling you highly sensitive. Also, although there are as many men as women who are highly sensitive, when taking the test highly sensitive men answer slightly fewer items as true than do highly sensitive women.