ASMR-Experience Questionnaire (AEQ): a data-driven step towards accurately classifying ASMR responders

Swart, Thomas R.; Bowling, Natalie C. and Banissy, Michael J.. 2022. ASMR-Experience Questionnaire (AEQ): a data-driven step towards accurately classifying ASMR responders. British Journal of Psychology, 113(1), pp. 68-83. ISSN 0007-1269 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) describes an atypical multisensory experience of calming, tingling sensations that originate in the crown of the head in response to a specific subset of audio-visual triggers. There is currently no tool that can accurately classify both ASMR-Responders and non-Responders, while simultaneously identifying False-positive cases that are similar sensory-emotional experiences. This study sought to fill this gap by developing a new online psychometric tool – the ASMR-Experiences Questionnaire (AEQ). Participants watched a series of short ASMR videos and answered sensory-affective questions immediately afterwards. Using a k-means clustering approach, we identified five data-driven groupings, based on tingle- and affect-related scores. ASMR-Responders differentiate based on ASMR propensity and intensity (ASMR-Strong; ASMR-Weak); non-Responders differentiate based on response valence (Control+; Control-; False-Positive). Recommendations for how the AEQ and the respective output groups can be best utilised to enhance ASMR research are discussed.

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We thank Dr. Giulia Poerio for her guidance in the interpretation. This research has been supported by a grant from the BIAL foundation #71/18.


ASMR; autonomous sensory meridian response; classify; questionnaire; psychometric; k-means

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24 May 2021Accepted
12 June 2021Published Online
February 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

04 Jun 2021 12:11

Last Modified:

20 Jan 2022 03:44

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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