Who we are and what we do
"The HSP Research Society" was founded in 2007. Although a voluntary association it considers itself to be Germany's first contact point for the general public on the subject of sensory-processing sensitivity. We provide briefings for individuals and the press, initial assistance for scientists and researchers (both graduate and undergraduate) and try to collect as much information as possible on the "highly sensitive person" (HSP). This includes building a network of local contacts (groups, etc.) and physicians/therapists who are aware of the phenomenon.
The association also offers (non-scientific) lecturers and interview-partners for the press.
A publication is published by the association (in German); its purpose is to allow HSPs without access to the Internet to obtain some of the related information that is otherwise only available on the World Wide Web.
Insight into our work: Research
Although we are primarily an association of laypersons in the field of psychology, some of us have recently attempted to conduct some (more or less proto-academic) research, involving searching general psychological literature for helpful information that might enable us to better understand sps and distinguish it from disorders and other psychological or psychopathological phenomena. Our results have so far been limited, however we feel able to draw at least three conclusions:
- HSPs should be cognisant of the concept of Intellectual giftedness. It is mathematically impossible that both phenomena are identical or that there is even a strong correlation between the two; however some descriptions of symptoms of Intellectual giftedness show astounding resemblances to those displayed in sensory processing sensitivity.
- There seems to be a higher probability for HSPs to suffer from an Avoidant personality disorder ICD-10 F60.6. That disorder manifests itself in dominant feelings of insufficiency or inadequacy, which can have a strongly negative impact - especially on intimate relationships.
- Emotional discomfort shown by HSPs may be explained by the misattribution of arousal paradigm: Once physically excited, due to a stronger degree of arousal (due to an HSP-typical affective reaction to an encounter), HSPs may then experience an excitation transfer by which the arousal rooting in a previous experience leads to an emotional response, that was neither triggered nor justified by current events.