Are you SPS?
I love research reports; they provide an unending source of entertainment. I don’t have the exact figures, but chances are the money spent every year on producing research reports closely rivals annual budgets of Hollywood and Bollywood productions put together.
But to get around to the topic of this post: According to a report in today’s The Times of India, ‘About 20% of all people are born with a trait called Sensory Perception Sensitivity’ (or SPS, if you can’t pronounce that). To quote further, ‘(it) can manifest itself as the tendency to be inhibited, or even neuroticism – a tendency to experience negative emotional states, the study said.
The trait can be seen in some children who are “slow to warm up” in a situation but eventually join in, need little punishment, cry easily, ask unusual questions or have especially deep thoughts.’
1 If you come across a child who cries easily, it is not politically correct to say, “Stop being a sissy!” You have to say, “Stop being Sensory Perception Sensitive!”
If your four year-old son asks you, “How was I born?” And you reply, “God made you.” And he counter-questions, “Were you on tour then?” don’t slap him (or yourself), he can’t help it, he has Sensory Perception Sensitivity.
3 When the Maharashtrian saint Ramdas replied to the question he was asked when he was a child, “What are you thinking about?” with, “I am meditating on the universe,” it was not a sign of his genius, it was a sign of Sensory Perception Sensitivity.
The report goes on to say, ‘People with SPS (ha, the PTI reporter can’t pronounce it!), trait prefer to take longer to make decisions (Wife! Are you reading this?), are more conscientious (Wife? I hope you are not reading this!), need more time to themselves in order to reflect and are more easily bored with small talk’.
1 Hamlet had Sensory Perception Sensitivity. (For the Shakespeare-challenged, Hamlet was a guy who kept on wondering, “To be or not to be” until he was killed by a fruit vendor. Why fruit vendor? Find out later in the post.)
2 There is nothing wrong with the guy who is boring you to death in a party. But there is something definitely wrong with you – You have Sensory Perception Sensitivity.
The report is a result of research carried out at
Stony Brook University in (what kind of scientists would be working in a university named Stony?). It was helped by two Chinese universities: New York Southwest University and of Sciences. Chinese Academy
Research reports! The latest addition to things manufactured in
. I wonder what that means. China
But do not feel special if you have Sensory Perception Sensitivity. The report continues, “The sensitivity trait is found in over 100 species, from fruit flies (does that mean Hamlet was a fruit fly?), and fish to canines and primates, indicating this personality type could sometimes provide an evolutionary advantage.
Does that mean a fruit fly has an evolutionary advantage over 8 out of 10 people I know? Well, let me count… 1, 2, 3… Yes, it does.