In Western cultures, lay perceptions and norms around wellbeing tend to emphasise being socially outgoing and high-arousal positive emotions, but not all people experience wellbeing in this way. In our study, we set out to explore what highly sensitive people do to maintain their wellbeing.
Research has shown that sensitivity is related to common personality traits, such as Neuroticism and Openness to Experiences.
The association with Neuroticism reflects the tendency of sensitive people to experience stress more easily.
In contrast, Openness to Experiences seems to capture sensitive people’s aesthetic sensitivity and their deep processing of information.
Our study investigated the heritability of sensitivity.
Results showed that 47 percent of the differences in sensitivity between individuals are genetically determined, whereas the remaining 53 percent are accounted for by environmental factors.
Should we understand sensitivity as a continuous dimension that ranges from low to high or as a category, with some people being highly sensitive and others not?