Date of Submission

Spring 2022

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Justin Hulbert

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), first coined by Jennifer Allen in 2010, is a term used to describe an automatic emotional and physiological response to certain auditory and visual stimuli. This sensory phenomenon is characterized by feelings of pleasure, calmness and a tingling sensation down the scalp and back (Poerio, 2020). What originally started out as a phenomenon some people experience in everyday life evolved into an internationally recognized and sought-after media made available on a variety of platforms including YouTube. ASMR’s popularity may be attributed to its reported sleep, relaxation, and mood improvements in younger adults (Barratt and Davis, 2015). Sleep Disturbances are particularly prevalent in the elderly, especially amongst nursing home and assisted living facility residents. This is a growing concern considering how instrumental sleep is to daily functioning and the detrimental effects poor sleep can have on people’s health. Poor sleep in older adults is associated with chronic stress, increased morbidity, and lower quality of life (MacLeod, S. et al. 2018).Taken together, this project hopes to explore the effects of ASMR on the sleep quality of older adults living in assisted living facilities, using younger adults as a comparison. The open questions I hope to explore in this study are: how do older adults who have little to no exposure to ASMR or preconceived notions about ASMR experience ASMR? Could ASMR experience and sensitivity be attributed to a placebo effect? Furthermore, how does ASMR experience change over one’s lifetime? I plan on conducting a norming study in which participants aged 65 and up are presented with three ASMR videos and asked to provide feedback on the videos in a survey format. The results of the norming study will inform a grant proposal looking at the effects of ASMR vs. a control video on the sleep quality of residents of assisted living facilities and college students. Participants will be presented an ASMR and a control video before bed, and their sleep quality and ASMR experience will be measured using the Oura Ring Generation 3 and the ASMR-15. I predict there to be a significant effect of the ASMR video on the sleep quality and ASMR experience of younger adults. In addition, I predict there to be a significant effect of the control video on the sleep quality and ASMR experience of older adults.

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