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I have a couple of related questions or speculations concerning the 5 senses and Personality Types.

First
I've noticed that some people I know seem to have one particular sense that is very highly developed - one that they are constantly noticing things through and making comments about.

For one INTP friend it is hearing. She notices every little noise, it's really amazing to me. Things I didn't even realise made noises she points out - and they distract her.

For me, an INFP, it's smell. I'm constantly being distracted by smells that no one else notices which I cannot tune out. I notice how people smell as distinctive identifying traits, just as obvious as hair colour (though it's always so hard to describe).

So I was wondering if there was any kind of trend between personality types, or perhaps different functions, and what physical senses they are most attuned to. For instance, I've heard that memory is most linked to smell, and it seems to be my impression that Si is also related to memory, so perhaps would a strong sense of smell be more common among those who use Si? (granted it's supposedly my tertiary function).

Seccondly
It seems to me that there is a relatively high correlation between Highly Sensitive People and INFPs (and perhaps among some other types that I haven't noticed?). This struck me as slightly odd. Wouldn't it make more sense for Sensors to have very accute senses, moreso than iNtuitives? So would there be even more HSPs among Sensing types? Or would it be less common perhaps because the nature of being highly sensitive leads people to seek less stimulation rather than more? From the descriptions it seems to suggest ISF to me, (Self Test). Perhaps there is no real correlation between these things, but it seems like there could be, and I'd like to figure out how to fit these concepts together better.


So my questions are:
Do you experience any very particularly strong sense?
Do you think it more likely that an S or an N would be Highly Sensitive?
 

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sight>smell>hearing>taste>touch for me, although they are all extremely close.

In general, I have very good night vision. I've never had it tested, but I've always noticed that other people have to turn the light on when I can see fine. However, the fact that I have very big pupils might have something to do with that.

Also I notice smells way more than other people and find it really hard to describe them. And they are mostly connected to memory. I would probably say my sense of smell is the one that is strongest compared to the average, but I obviously use my sight more.

I can tune out most of my other three senses whenever I want.

In general, I think sensors notice the world around them all the time, so maybe it isn't as surprising to them as it is to me as an INTP to suddenly notice the world around me. I think it has something to do with what the different types consider normal. Perhaps I am highly sensitive to other people and things intruding into my world, and so it comes across as highly sensitive in general.
 

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I'm very sure I'm an HSP, especially with touch, sound and vision! Bright lights make me dizzy, so do loud noises and I'm very sensitive to touch (although I have a high pain threshold XD). I think the if you look at mbti then sensors would seem to be the most likely to be HSPs but intuitives could be because of looking at everything as a whole, so they have more of an impact on them?
 

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Yeah, I get some sensory overload at times that isn't fun. My hearing can bounce from being quite sensitive to dulled out at times. Some places I have to avoid because they are so loud I can't even hear my own thoughts. In contrast, the neuropathy in my feet is bad enough that I managed to break bones in my foot and not know that I had done it for some time.

As for whether I'd think a high sensitive person to be more S or N, I'd split down the line as I don't think it is more one than the other. I'd be more tempted to wonder if there are highly sensitive people that have more control over how to handle so much sensory input than others but then this is where I may have some self-studying to do on the subject.
 

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Sight > Touch > Sound > Taste > Smell

Sight and touch switch up between my "dominant" sense.

I'm a bit hyper-sensitive to some types of sounds, but my auditory memory is rubbish.

I prefer strong-tasting things and I have a slight oral fixation, but it's hardly anything to talk about.

For reasons too complicated to get into, my sense of smell is poor. I have a hard time differentiating and recalling memories from smell alone. I'm kinda sad I don't have the smell of turkey dinners taking me back to Thanksgiving or something.
 

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Taste? My senses aren't particularly special, and none of them seems to be much better than the other. But I do have a very acute sense of taste and can pick out specific flavors/ingredients out of a complex combination or even puree. xD

I don't think either type is more or less likely to have higher senses. After all, S and N describe how we gather information, not how well we gather it or which senses we use. So an S type might be more attuned to his/her senses, but that doesn't mean that they are any better.
 

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I'm not sure what you mean. I don't notice little noises like your friend does, but I'm very good at hearing subtle differences in pitch. Musicians with hearing losses can often still play in tune. Does that mean they have highly developed senses?
 

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I do get easily distracted by noise, especially conversation, but I also often mishear what people say. As far as I can say, my hearing is normal. I have an extremely good auditory memory.
I'm short-sighted. I don't notice things visually. Not surprisingly I have no memory for anything visual. I'm particularly terrible with faces.
My sense of smell seems stronger than average.
Taste and touch seem normal.
 

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I don't think MBTI has a lot to do with how well or how badly a person can see/hear/smell. It might affect whether or not they notice these things, but then again a lot of things affect that. I mean, when some people touch me I am very conscious of it. When others do it I might not even notice. That's just a matter of who I'm infatuated with at the moment. XD

The fact of the matter is that humans are very much sight-oriented. I think people are so used to seeing all the time they forget how much it really dominates our lives. Unless you're legally blind, compared to other species, our hearing, smell, and touch is quite average if not below average. In humans, sight is definitely the dominant sense. So your hearing might be better than average, but it's still not going to be your best sense.

Even if it weren't, I don't think personality would be the determining factor in which sense is greater. It's something I've always seen as biological. Some people are born with the ability to smell asparagus in their pee - others aren't. Perception of the senses might be entirely different, but that doesn't have to do so much with ability as it does with sensitivity and what sorts of experiences you're used to.

Does that make sense? XP
 

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i believe my dominant sense is touch. i have noticed that i take in information and learn it quickly when i am allowed to engage in my sense of touch. i am constantly aware of the atmospheric environment of an area i am present in, the temperature, the humidity. it is often very difficult for me to be comfortable as i am distracted by my physical environment much of the time. i am often capable of identifying others by just touching them. i rely on touch and proprioception and movement for most of my interactions with the outside world. while i am not legally blind, my eyesight is very poor, and i do not rely on it nearly as much as i do on my environmental intuition. aside from this, i have very poor visual perception (identifying numbers, letters, shapes, drawing) and visual memory (remembering faces, places, directions, visualization of math problems or diagrams in my mind).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well so far I'm not seeing any particular trends. I like people's observation that even if you have sharp senses, you may not tune into them, I could see this being the case. Hm...interesting...... And I do agree that humans are very sight oriented and do take that for granted.

I don't think I'm terribly hypersensitive, but when I discovered the book it did strike me as pretty familiar.

Smell is the main one that I really cannot tune out, and also seems to be the one that most other people I know are least in tune with so they think I'm crazy and too picky. I mean, how do you tell your friend they need to start using an unscented detergent because they're clothes smell too much for you to stand close to them? Going to shows can be a nightmare for me because so many people wear perfume or hair spray for special occasions that I'm nearly knocked out by the cauldron of toxic fumes everyone else seems to enjoy. While I do eperience nostalgia most strongly from smells, most of the time they don't trigger memories, just headaches and the inability to think of anything except "grape candy, lemon-scented cleanser, lipstick, suede, hot dogs, eraser crumbs, oatmeal, curry, cat, cigarretts, hair-oil, wet cement, dust, cardboard, Downy fabric softener, 'cucumber melon' lotion, etc. etc." - the smells constantly grab my attention and pull me away from my thoughts.

To some extent I think I'm quite sensitive to touch. In spite of being so good at tuning out the world around me, I think this is the next most impossible to tune out. I'm always finding myself distracted by things like one leg of my tights feels like it's twisted, or there's something gritty in my shoes. I can't stand to wear nail polish because I can feeeel it there on my finger nails, I can feel the weight of it and it drives me mad. I can't wear necklaces or turtle necks most days because the sensation of light pressure on my neck triggers horrible headaches. I cannot wear glasses pretty much at all because something nehind my ear, no matter how thin or light gives me a headache, and something on my nose always seems to vibrate slightly whenever I move and thus tickle. I decided to never get my ears pierced because I can just tell that the slight weight, or things dangling on my earlobes would really bug me. Although, I don't have a horor of rough fabrics like some people I have known. I do very much enjoy textures, and I seem to have very strong pleasant responces to someone lightly touching my skin. I am particularly sensitive to air-currents against my skin - these can really distract me.

I can see well in the dark but not so much when it's bright, and not very good from a distance.

As for taste I can't handle very spicy-hot foods, and tend to be a bit picky. I don't think I'd say I'm particularly good at noticing nuances of flavor, but moreso than many people I know who seem to eat just about anything without paying much attention to what's in their mouth. I do tend to be quite satisfied with bland foods though. I have always been good at that thing were you eat blindfolded with your nose plugged and guess what food it is. I can always still taste it. Maybe it's related to the strong sense of smell? I don't know.

Hearing is sort of a weak-spot. While moderatley loud noises are often too much for me, I find that I just don't hear a lot of things, sounds don't grab my attention when I'm lost in thought. When I'm paying attention I feel that I'm good at noticing nuances in music, but most of the everyday 'sound effects' of life are totally lost on me. I also have trouble distinguishing what people with low pitched voices are saying.
 

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Smell is the main one that I really cannot tune out, and also seems to be the one that most other people I know are least in tune with so they think I'm crazy and too picky. I mean, how do you tell your friend they need to start using an unscented detergent because they're clothes smell too much for you to stand close to them? Going to shows can be a nightmare for me because so many people wear perfume or hair spray for special occasions that I'm nearly knocked out by the cauldron of toxic fumes everyone else seems to enjoy. While I do eperience nostalgia most strongly from smells, most of the time they don't trigger memories, just headaches and the inability to think of anything except "grape candy, lemon-scented cleanser, lipstick, suede, hot dogs, eraser crumbs, oatmeal, curry, cat, cigarretts, hair-oil, wet cement, dust, cardboard, Downy fabric softener, 'cucumber melon' lotion, etc. etc." - the smells constantly grab my attention and pull me away from my thoughts.
I'm just curious, so feel free to blow off this question if it's too personal for you, but are you on any sort of hormonal birth control? I know when I was on the pill for a while, I noticed some things smelt different/stronger. I'm sort of drawing my own connections here, but I believe that it's a side effect of high female hormone levels, as the smell sensitivity is also a known side-effect of pregnancy. Of course, you could just have a huge nose. :laughing:

Also, have you ever considered the fact that it might not be so much that you're sensitive but that you analyze every tiny feeling? I mean, I don't think many people can write that much about their senses. I bring it up because it's something that I do. For instance, if I have a random pain somewhere, I start thinking about it and what it could be. With my knowledge in the medical field, I have a good list of problematic possibilities and so I will over-analyze everything about this small pain until I'm working myself into a frenzy over my possible blood clot. On top of that, when I panic like this, it tends to make the pain worse. Or at least make it seem like it's getting worse. When I was on birth control (that stuff made me crazy anxious), I could almost make my heart have palpitations on command with this sort of thought process. :crazy:
 

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i believe that my sense of taste is very underdeveloped, as i find strange combinations of food to be tasty and i pile on the spices. perhaps this is a learned behavior as where i am from it is very common to consume spicy foods, but unless i eat a habenero pepper i genuinely do not react in the slightest to spice aside from requiring a drink once in a while. even then, it is not a very powerful reaction. while spice and taste are very different from one another (spice is a chemical reaction with capsicum and the taste buds) i must wonder if i perhaps have something damaged in my tongue which prohibits me from feeling certain kinds of sensation, and how that would affect my ability to taste food in general. i have frequently been described as a person who will consume anything as long as it is not poisonous or harmful.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm just curious, so feel free to blow off this question if it's too personal for you, but are you on any sort of hormonal birth control? I know when I was on the pill for a while, I noticed some things smelt different/stronger. I'm sort of drawing my own connections here, but I believe that it's a side effect of high female hormone levels, as the smell sensitivity is also a known side-effect of pregnancy. Of course, you could just have a huge nose. :laughing:
hehe, nope I'm not taking any birth control. Interesting idea though.

Also, have you ever considered the fact that it might not be so much that you're sensitive but that you analyze every tiny feeling? I mean, I don't think many people can write that much about their senses.
That's a really interesting thing to consider. I suppose it could partly be this. Although I do frequently make comment to other people about a smell, or ask if they can smell something and even when they try to detect what I'm talking about they can't. They usually just look at me like I'm crazy and say "nope, don't smell a thing". However, I think part of it could have to do with it just not being very common to describe smells in detail. Words frequently seem to fail in this regard beyon very general terms, and then it's up to the N-style metaphoric speach relating the smell to something else that is easier to decribe. Also if I actually knew what half the smells I noticed were really from it would be a lot easier to just tell people what I'm smelling, rather than trying to describe how it smells.
 
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