The Chill Factor

For some time I have wondered why I got emotional or got chills / goosebumps when listening to exceptional pieces of music. So a little bit of research tells me that this reaction is called ‘frisson’ (pronounced free-sawn) and is a French term meaning “aesthetic chills”. It is only experienced by approximately 50% of people and is generally in response to music, art or listening to a great speaker but emotional music is the biggest trigger. Results from personality tests on a number of people showed that the listeners who experienced frisson also scored high for a personality trait called “openness to experience.”Studies have shown that people who possess this trait have unusually active imaginations, appreciate beauty and nature, seek out new experiences, often reflect deeply on their feelings, and love variety in life. Some aspects of this trait are inherently emotional (loving variety, appreciating beauty), while others are cognitive (imagination, intellectual curiosity).I am so glad that I am in the 50% that have this experience because I can say that when it happens it is wonderful.

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