Hello! Welcome to the Highly Sensitive Person Test.
This test is based on the work of Dr. Elaine Aron, author of several books about HSPs such as The Highly Sensitive Person, The Highly Sensitive Person in Love, and The Highly Sensitive Child.
According to Dr. Aron, the HSP trait is completely normal and found in 15-20% of humans. Although many people who exhibit the trait may be saddled with unfortunate adjectives by themselves or other people, especially in childhood--"cry baby," "oversensitive," "wimp," "shy," etc.--in reality it just means that their "nervous system is more sensitive to subtleties." Consequently, their brain "processes information and reflects on it more deeply."
If you've ever felt like the sights and sounds around you were just too overwhelming and you desperately needed to get away, or if you find that your own mind is your favorite place to be, you might just be a Highly Sensitive Person. Don't believe that you're weird, abnormal, or even ALONE in these feelings; sometimes just realizing that other people feel the same way can be a big help.
For more information about HSPs, see Dr. Aron's website: www.hsperson.com.
IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THE TEST:
This test is based on the questions from Dr. Aron's website, and also from her article, with Arthur Aron, "Sensory-Processing Sensitivity and Its Relation to Introversion and Emotionality" from the August 1997 (Vol 73) issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
I tried to make the answer choices for each question as standard as possible; consequently they might sound a little awkward. Don't take them literally. Think of them more as a consistent scale with which to rate how much you feel the question applies to you. The answer options are in the same order for each question; the FIRST answer (some variation of "Very") always means something along the lines of, "Yes, that describes me completely! I do that all the time!" while the LAST answer (some variation of "Hardly ever") always means something like, "No, that's not really like me at all, I have no idea what you're talking about." The second and third answers are in between those two responses on the scale.
Please keep in mind that SKIPPING a question will penalize your score. If you have no idea what I mean by a question, please choose at least the last answer ("Hardly ever"). There are only 27 questions, so if you don't feel your score at the end is accurate, it won't take you long to do the test again.
Hopefully, I will be able to improve the questions and scoring of this test--if people give me feedback.
Thanks for testing!
P.S. Thanks to my friend Jane, who shoved a copy of The Highly Sensitive Child into my hands at the bookstore and said, "I read through the checklist, and that's totally YOU!"