Sensory Processing Sensitivity: Factors of the Highly Sensitive Person Scale and Their relationships to Personality and Subjective Health Complaints

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The aim of the present study was to examine the factor structure of a Norwegian version of the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS) and to investigate how sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is related to personality traits of neuroticism, extraversion, and openness and to subjective health complaints (SHC) in a sample of 167 undergraduate psychology students. The results showed that the variance in a shortened version of the HSPS was best described by three separate factors: ease of excitation (EOE), aesthetic sensitivity (AES), and low sensory threshold (LST). Furthermore, the result showed than an overall SPS factor (EOE, LST, and AES combined) was predicted positively by neuroticism and openness and negatively by extraversion. With respect to SHC, the results showed that EOE and LST were positively associated with psychological health complaints. However, the personality trait of neuroticism contributed more than the SPS factors as predictor of SHC. In conclusion, the present study supported a shortened version of the HSPS and its relation to personality factors and SHC.

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