Since a few years there have been countless so-called “ASMR” videos online. They cause powerful sensations in some people and annoyance in others. However, British researchers say they could have a positive impact on the mental health of those who watch them.
“ASMR” is an American acronym that can be translated as “automatic response of the sensory meridians”. These somewhat complicated terms refer to a trend that appeared on the internet in early 2010. Videographers film themselves (especially on YouTube) and produce light sounds, but record very accurately so that viewers have the impression that they are a few centimeters from their ear.
Researchers from the University of Northumbria in England have explored the benefits of ASMR. They asked 64 people to watch an ASMR video to study their emotional state before and after viewing. Note that most of the people who took part in the study had already viewed it in the past. It turned out that these volunteers were more anxious in nature than the others and derived many psychological benefits from ASMR videos. They even reported feeling less stressed as a result of the experience.
An anti-stress ally… but not for everyone
On the contrary, participants who had never watched an ASMR video did not report feeling less anxious after the experience. “This suggests that people familiar with ASMR also have a greater predisposition to baseline anxiety, and that they can alleviate it by watching ASMR videos”say the researchers in the study, which was recently published in the scientific journal Plos One.
These findings support those of a 2018 study by researchers at the University of Sheffield in the UK. At the time, they also found that ASMR could cause feelings of “tickling” and euphoria in some people, and that they felt less stressed as a result. Despite all the attention the internet is giving to ASMR, relatively little research has been done on this phenomenon by the scientific community. So it’s more than possible that he still has some surprises in store for us.
(ETX Daily Up)