If You Can’t Stand People Fidgeting, You May Have Misokinesia
Misophonia is the “hatred of sound,” or “sound rage,” a condition in which people have intense emotional and physical reactions to trigger noises, often chewing or lip smacking. Misokinesia, on the other hand, is the “hatred of movement.” Last week, Todd Handy, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, and his colleagues published the first study to focus solely on misokinesia in Nature Scientific Reports, with first author PhD student Sumeet Jaswall. Motherboard’s Shayla Love reports the findings: The paper is mostly focused on determining how common misokinesia might be — and their findings remarkably resemble the impromptu surveys Handy did on his classes. In a total of over 4,000 people, one-third said they were sensitive to watching others fidget, and that it caused negative emotions like anger, anxiety, and frustration to arise. Arjan Schroder, a postdoctoral researcher at Amsterdam UMC and the first author on the 2013 paper that coined misokinesia, said this prevalence matched what he has seen in his misophonia patient samples. Yet, as Handy’s work shows, misokinesia might also be quite common in general populations too.

Handy and his colleagues first asked a group of students whether they ever had “strong negative feelings, thoughts, or physical reactions when seeing or viewing other peoples’ fidgeting or repetitive movements,” like someone’s foot shaking, fingers tapping, or gum chewing. 38% of the students responded yes, and 31% reported having both misokinesia (visual) and misophonia (audio) sensitivity. Then they asked an older, more demographically diverse sample (not students) and found a similar prevalence: 36% of participants reported they had misokinesia sensitivity and 25.5% reported having both misokinesia and misophonia.

It’s an intriguing finding that misokinesia and misophonia seem to exist both together and in isolation. On the subreddit for misophonia, one person shared that noises didn’t bother them severely but fidgeting did. […] Handy thinks the next big questions their study poses are how exactly misokinesia is related to misophonia, whether it can help better explain the mechanisms of misophonia, and whether it can potentially lead to coping strategies and treatments.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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