What’s your sensory type? Did you even know such a thing existed? I didn’t until I started researching more about the senses, and I’m a geeky, nerdy, walking encyclopedia! Boy do I wish I’d known about this stuff years ago, life would have made so much more …. yep, sense!
You may be thinking that I’m talking about the different types of learning styles; information that has been helping educators for quite some time now, but your sensory type is something different. Another string to the bow of self knowledge.
Dr Winnie Dunn, the leading authority on sensory processing, has, after much research, concluded that we fall into four different sensory types which are:
What’s really interesting is that we can fall under a different type, depending on the particular sense we’re investigating, which makes life infinitely more fun I think.
If you’ve ever taken a personality test such as Myers Briggs, or even the Love Languages test, you’ll have discovered just how useful your type can be when navigating jobs and relationships. The sensory type information extends that knowledge enormously. It’s a key part of the jigsaw if you’ve ever struggled to understand why you don’t seem to fit in, or why some people rub you up the wrong way.
It’s always useful to know these things about ourselves (self knowledge is always useful), but it is perhaps more useful, certainly in the times we now live in, to develop an understanding of how other people experience the world. Anything we can do develop empathy is ALWAYS a good thing, and is quite possibly the key to making our world a better place.
I’ve written a post about how I’m an avoider when it comes to movement. What’s just dawned on me is that I’m not a kinaesthetic learner, so in this case, there is some cross over with the learning types.
I’d be really interested to hear if you think, after reading the brief overview below, that your learning style matches with your sensory type. Drop me a comment in the usual place.
What Are The Four Sensory Types?
In a word: MORE!
Seekers actively seek sensory stimulation – they like life to be loud, vibrant, highly flavoured, intense.
In a word: unaware.
Bystanders just don’t seem to notice much at all – things have to be really in their face for them to take in their surroundings.
In a word: overwhelm.
Their brains are highly sensitive to stimulation, which causes discomfort, so they like to keep input within their control.
In a word: hyperaware.
Where a bystander barely notices anything, a sensor will notice everything!
So, What’s Your Type?
You may now have a pretty good idea of what type you’re more inclined towards, but as with most things, it tends to be rather more nuanced than those basic definitions. When I first looked at the types I thought I would be a seeker, but I’m quite the opposite: an avoider with the proprioception and vestibular systems, and a sensor for most of the others. Do read the other posts on this subject to glean a better idea of what type/s you might be, and if you want to deep dive into this topic, then I highly recommend Dr Dunn’s book Living Sensationally,which also includes a comprehensive self test.