Why you won't see a lot of citations in my blog posts
As mentioned in the About page for Sensitive Thrive, part of my job is to translate the knowledge about High Sensitivity, coming from research, into advice and insight relevant to helping organisational leaders understand how to help Highly Sensitive people thrive in their workplaces.
As I do this, through blog posts and information on this website, along with what I share in person, I don't usually refer directly to research studies. This is because I've synthesised the information gained from a variety of sources, often over time, and applied it to the current focus. Those sources include my own experience and insights, and the experiences of other Highly Sensitive people I've spoken with.
Research papers are also usually very specific, and rely on prior knowledge and subject expertise to interpret accurately. This is why I seek out Dr Elaine Aron's interpretations, wherever possible. As the pioneering researcher for this temperament, she has a broad and deep understanding of what it means and where to place new findings within that framework.
The role of research about High Sensitivity
There is more research being done all the time, which is excellent. While we know, largely, what constitutes the temperament and how it plays out in a person - how it feels to be Highly Sensitive and how it influences our experience, personally, and through observation of many HS people - continuing research helps others to understand, 'believe' it, and apply the findings to specific situations. It creates understanding about underlying factors, like genetics and brain processes, and effects, such as higher sensory stimulation, increased empathy, and careful decision-making.
The more that's known, through research about this temperament, the more we'll be able to provide conditions within societies which support, rather than let down, Highly Sensitive / Responsive people. My hope, and that of many who work on this, is that our societies will then benefit far more from the vital gifts that Responsive people offer, and that they will also be better able to thrive themselves, no longer hindered by conditions set to the needs of Non- or Low-Sensitive, Un-Responsive people.
As I write often, we need each other: the Responsive and Un-Responsive. Each group has gifts to share, arising from our differing temperaments. One shouldn't be elevated over the other, because that leads to missing out on the essential services of the other.
Published articles and summaries of research to refer to
Let me, then, share a few of the original research findings and their interpretations by Dr Aron, for those of you interested in the supporting evidence more explicitly. You can also search, at any time, on a scientific or psychological research database for word combinations such as High Sensitivity, Sensory Processing Sensitivity, Responsive and Unresponsive personalities, vantage sensitivity and differential susceptibility.
Here's a sampling of articles and summaries I've used so far in my work, and which you can refer to if needed:
I hope you'll find this sampling of articles and summaries useful in your work, and also that it will help reassure you of the legitimacy and accuracy of what I report. I look forward to working together, and helping your organisation harness the needed gifts offered by Highly Sensitive / Responsive people.
Tamara - Sensitive Thrive is my consulting business. I believe that the world needs Highly Sensitive people who are flourishing. We need their hope, insight, wisdom, and awareness of beauty and possibility. My vision is to help create a culture where this temperament is known, understood and valued; where organisations seek Highly Sensitive people to work for them, because they know what they can do. Where HS people feel like they fit in their workplaces, because those workplaces also fit them. A world where HS people belong, thrive, and flourish, and the world is better for it.