Towards the development of an integrative measure of Autonomous Cephalocaudal Paresthesia
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 15:13 by Natalie M. Roberts
While significant progress has been made, altered states of consciousness (ASCs) still represent a major frontier in psychological research. The present project aimed to develop a reliable and valid measure of a proposed alteration of consciousness, Autonomous Cephalocaudal Paresthesia (ACP), also known as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR). The phenomenon has been described as an intensely pleasurable and euphoric tingling sensation that begins at the back of the head and travels down the central nervous system in response to specific, individualised audiovisual triggers and real world stimuli. A mixed-methods approach was adopted, utilising a sample of existing online data (N = 303) for qualitative analysis and then deriving a scale (ACPS-31) through content analysis. The secondary, quantitative study refined the ACPS-31 through factor analysis (N = 451), producing a cohesive scale with five subscales: Movement, Sensation, Affect, Relaxation and Cognition. The final total score 21-item ACP scale (ACPS-21) evidenced good reliability with adequate internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = .82) and demonstrated a divergent pattern of correlations to frisson, flow, absorption or alexithymia. Future work could focus on further refinement of the ACPS-21, as well experimentally assessing the relationship between ACP, arousal and personality factors.