Highly sensitive person
- This article is about the personality trait. For the book by Elaine Aron, go to The Highly Sensitive Person (book).
A highly sensitive person (HSP) is a person having the innate trait of high sensory processing sensitivity (or innate sensitiveness as Carl Jung originally coined it). According to Elaine N. Aron and colleagues as well as other researchers, highly sensitive people, who comprise about a fifth of the population (equal numbers in men and women), may process sensory data much more deeply and thoroughly due to a biological difference in their nervous systems. This is a specific trait, with key consequences for how we view people, that in the past has often been confused with innate shyness, social anxiety problems, inhibitedness, social phobia and innate fearfulness, and introversion. The trait is measured using the HSP Scale, which has been demonstrated to have both internal and external validity. Although the term is primarily used to describe humans, something similar to the trait is present in over 100 other species.