Item Response Theory Investigation of Misophonia Auditory Triggers.
Vitoratou S., Uglik-Marucha N., Hayes C., Erfanian M., Pearson O., Gregory J.
Misophonia is characterised by a low tolerance for day-to-day sounds, causing intense negative affect. This study conducts an in-depth investigation of 35 misophonia triggers. A sample of 613 individuals who identify as experiencing misophonia and 202 individuals from the general population completed self-report measures. Using contemporary psychometric methods, we studied the triggers in terms of internal consistency, stability in time, precision, severity, discrimination ability, and information. Three dimensions of sensitivity were identified, namely, to eating sounds, to nose/throat sounds, and to general environmental sounds. The most informative and discriminative triggers belonged to the eating sounds. Participants identifying with having misophonia had also significantly increased odds to endorse eating sounds as auditory triggers than others. This study highlights the central role of eating sounds in this phenomenon and finds that different triggers are endorsed by those with more severe sound sensitivities than those with low sensitivity.