Sensory Processing Sensitivity and HSPs; A Weekend Conference with Dr. Elaine Aron, Part I

by | Nov 19, 2017 | HSP Blog

In July of this year, I was fortunate to attend another conference with Dr. Elaine Aron, the HSP guru herself, in the luscious giant redwoods of Santa Cruz. I wanted to dedicate a few blogs to share what I learned there.

I was remotely aware of Dr. Aron and her colleague’s scientific terminology for HSPs but was able to embrace it more fully. Sensory Processing Sensitivity or SPS is the name for our trait in the laboratory. This means we over sense our 5 senses and see, feel, smell, taste and hear more than others and more deeply (we know the same goes for our sixth sense as well, but more on that later). I now describe it as HSPs experience their senses in high definition due to our highly tuned central nervous system and sensory processing sensitivity.

I was pleased that thanks to the Aron’s research, Wikipedia even has this entry for SPS:

Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS), a personality trait, a high measure of which defines a highly sensitive person (HSP), has been described as having hypersensitivity to external stimuli, a greater depth of cognitive processing, and high emotional reactivity.”


“Boterberg et al. (2016) describe high SPS as a “temperamental or personality trait which is present in some individuals and reflects an increased sensitivity of the central nervous system and a deeper cognitive processing of physical, social and emotional stimuli”.”

In laymen’s terms, we seem to feel our world with 50 fingers instead of 10. We see it and experience it in High Def when the other 80% do not. Isn’t it wonderful to have some of these new ways to explain how we feel to our partners, friends and family who continue to be baffled by us?

To be continued on my next blog!

You might also like: