Date of Completion


Embargo Period



mindfulness, ASMR, frisson, chills

Major Advisor

Melissa A. Bray

Associate Advisor

James O'Neil

Associate Advisor

Hariharan Swaminathan

Field of Study

Educational Psychology

Open Access

Open Access


Many descriptions of a phenomenon known as autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) are appearing online and in respected mainstream media outlets. ASMR is a non-scientific term used to describe a pleasant tingling sensation in response to certain sensory and/or affective triggers (Barratt & Davis, 2015). Given that “mindfulness can foster an enhanced sensitivity to internal and external stimuli”, previous work by Harrison and Clark (2016; p. 3) correctly hypothesized a relationship between the Observing facet of trait mindfulness and heightened responses to works of art, including the aesthetic chill response. ASMR appears to share some similarities with the chill response, and this study aimed to investigate whether it might exhibit a similar relationship to mindfulness, particularly with respect to the Observing facet. Specifically, individuals who experience ASMR were compared to those who do not with respect to trait mindfulness and its facets, and it was investigated whether an individual’s tendency to experience ASMR might predict higher scores in the Observing facet. Additionally, the study aimed to gain information about individuals’ ASMR experiences and triggers and to investigate whether those with ASMR were more likely to experience other cross-sensory phenomena. As hypothesized, ASMR experiencers were found to score significantly higher on the Observe facet. In addition, frequency of ASMR was a significant predictor of this facet, accounting for 17 percent of the variance. Limitations are discussed as well as future potential avenues for this nascent line of research.