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Correlations between personality traits and a wide range of sensory thresholds were examined. Participants (N = 124) completed a personality inventory (NEO-FFI) and underwent assessment of olfactory, trigeminal, tactile and gustatory detection thresholds, as well as examination of trigeminal and tactile pain thresholds. Significantly enhanced odor sensitivity in socially agreeable people, significantly enhanced trigeminal sensitivity in neurotic subjects, and a tendency for enhanced pain tolerance in highly conscientious participants was revealed. It is postulated that varied sensory processing may influence an individual's perception of the environment; particularly their perception of socially relevant or potentially dangerous stimuli and thus, varied with personality.


Ilona Croy, Maria Springborn, Jörn Lötsch, Amy N B Johnston, Thomas Hummel. Agreeable smellers and sensitive neurotics--correlations among personality traits and sensory thresholds. PloS one. 2011;6(4):e18701

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PMID: 21556139

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