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While this is not a definitive list of ASMR triggers, these represent the more common triggers found in popular ASMR content. You may find additional triggers in these ASMR videos if the ASMRtist has opted to cover more than one or two.
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ASMR Trigger Information
Stimuli that can trigger ASMR, as reported by those who experience it, include the following:
- Listening to a softly spoken or whispering voice
- Listening to quiet, repetitive sounds resulting from someone engaging in a mundane task such as turning the pages of a book
- Watching somebody attentively execute a mundane task such as preparing food
- Receiving altruistic tender personal attention
- Initiating the stimulus through conscious manipulation without the need for external video or audio triggers
Furthermore, watching and listening to an audiovisual recording of a person performing or simulating the above actions and producing their consequent and accompanying sounds is sufficient to trigger ASMR for the majority of those who report susceptibility to the experience.
In addition to the effectiveness of specific acoustic stimuli, many subjects report that ASMR is triggered by the receipt of tender personal attention, often comprising combined physical touch and vocal expression, such as when having their hair cut, nails painted, ears cleaned, or back massaged, whilst the service provider speaks quietly to the recipient.
Among the category of intentional ASMR videos that simulate the provision of personal attention is a subcategory of those specifically depicting the ‘ASMRtist‘ providing clinical or medical services, including routine general medical examinations. The creators of these videos make no claims to the reality of what is depicted, and the viewer is intended to be aware that they are watching and listening to a simulation, performed by an actor. Nonetheless, many subjects attribute therapeutic outcomes to these and other categories of intentional ASMR videos, and there are voluminous anecdotal reports of their effectiveness in inducing sleep for those susceptible to insomnia, and assuaging a range of symptoms including those associated with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.