[Proposal] Are people who have misophonia, a multi-sensory disorder, more creative than the average population?

Question: Are people who have misophonia, a multi-sensory disorder, more creative than the general population?


Misophonia is a multi-sensory disorder which is typically marked by strong, abnormally emotional reactions to specific, everyday sounds such as eating and tapping noises, and other stimuli. People with misophonia are also often activated by certain types of motion, such as seeing a person shaking their legs or tapping their fingers.

While research into misophonia, first recognized as a unique disorder in 2000, has gained momentum, most of the research on misophonia has been about coping with the disorder from a psychological aspect. Several published studies [Kumar, 2017 and 2021] have indicated that misophonia has a neurological basis.

However, there have also been many anecdotal and speculative aspects of misophonia which have been discussed among medical professionals as well as communities of people who suffer from misophonia. One of these observations is that people with misophonia tend to be artistically creative. It sometimes seems unusual to find a person with misophonia who is not an artist, writer, musician, or other creative individual.

We first wrote about the correlation between misophonia and creativity in an article for Medium, Misophonia and Creativity: What is the Connection? This study will provide us with a first step in confirming if the correlation between creativity and misophonia is supported by data.

We believe that the unusual, multi-sensory processing traits that define misophonia also lead misophonia sufferers to be adept in creative endeavors.

This study aims to assess whether people with misophonia are more often artistic or creative when compared to people who do not have misophonia.

Description of the research methodology you will use:

We will be using two existing testing methods for this study:

:: The Gough Creative Personality Scale [1979], a self-reporting test on creativity which has been used extensively.

:: MisoQuest, A Self-Report Questionnaire for Misophonia [2020]

:: We will also be including a 15-question general survey about creativity of our own creation.

These surveys will give us two groups to compare: those without misophonia and those who self-assess as having misophonia.

We will compare the percentage of people without misophonia who test as being creative with the percentage of people with misophonia who test as being creative. We’d expect the percentages to be nearly the same, however our hypothesis would be proven more likely if the percentage of people with
misophonia who test as being creative is statistically higher than the sample of people who do not have misophonia and test as being creative.

How or why you chose your sample size:

We’d like to have a sample set that includes at least 100 people who self-assess for having misophonia and a sample of at least 100 people [and at most 200 people] who do not have misophonia.

If we are unable to achieve 100 misophonic participants before reaching 200 non-misophonic participants, we will reach out to online misophonia support groups to garner more participants who assess as having misophonia.

Description of the study costs:

The study costs are: $317

:: $267 - Prolific to present the test and pay up to 200 participants
:: $50 - Qualtrics or similar platform for administering the test questions

Evidence that you’ve preregistered key aspects of your study

A PDF of our AsPredicted preregistration can be downloaded from AsPredicted at this link: https://aspredicted.org/blind.php?x=ss9sx9

Explain how you’ll make your findings, study materials, analysis code and data openly available once the study is complete.

We will make the findings of this study public through publication of the final report in either a peer-reviewed journal or a Medium article and will make materials collected during the study available via ResearchBox.org as well as to anyone who requests them. We will also publish the findings on our website, soQuiet.org.

Thank you for your consideration of our proposal!

~ Cris Edwards, MFA
~ Michelle Hawkins, MLIS
Founders of soQuiet.org, a misophonia advocacy nonprofit