Wagner, B. (2021). Cognitive processing and sensitivity in relation to reaction times to external stimuli. The Young Researcher, 5(1), 82-95.
Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS) is possessed by fifteen percent of the world’s population. Awareness of this innate personality trait in the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) population has been found to be life-changing and empowering, but knowledge regarding the trait is limited and further study would prove beneficial to those who are and are not highly sensitive alike. The aim of this study was to investigate a potential correlation between reaction times to external stimuli and levels of cognitive processing. Through the creation of the Wagner SPS Survey, distinctly highly sensitive individuals were identified. Choice-reaction time testing was then performed through a constructed Raspberry Pi apparatus, and a subsequent statistical analysis determined a correlation between the variables. The results of the study validate the hypothesis that there exists a correlation between levels of cognitive processing and reaction times to external stimuli, with deeper cognitive processing positively correlated with slower reaction times.
Keywords: sensory processing sensitivity, Wagner SPS survey, highly sensitive person, reaction time test, deep processing