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Thirty to sixty minute semi-structured interviews were conducted by members of our research group on the University of California, San Diego campus.
In addition, it should be noted that all diagnostic criteria listed by Schröder et al.
(2013) were present in the reports of our misophonic subjects (see Table 1) even though these interviews were conducted prior to the publishing of that article. Summary of qualitative data gathered from interviews of the 11 misophonic subjects (4 males and 7 females, mean age = 35.82; range = 19–65) in Experiment 1, broken down into 18 of the most salient diagnostic categories.
After conducting all 11 interviews, it was apparent that the experiences of the misophonics, though intrinsically variable between subjects, contained noticeable trends and similarities.
The most salient categories of assessment and their traits are documented in Table 1.
Misophonics are however not bothered when they produce these “trigger” sounds themselves, and some report mimicry as a coping strategy.
Next, (Experiment 2) we tested the hypothesis that misophonics' subjective experiences evoke an anomalous physiological response to certain auditory stimuli.While the majority of typically developing individuals experience general and unelaborated emotional reactions to a range of sounds (Halpern et al., 1986), these widespread negative associations remain non-debilitating and at most an annoyance to the listener.One critical possibility is that the valenced associations present in typically developing individuals are matched to those with misophonia, with the latter merely experiencing a more extreme physiological response.Sufferers of misophonia are fully aware of its presence and the abnormal responses they have to their trigger sounds.In addition, many sufferers have identified the condition in at least one close relative, suggesting a possible hereditary component.While effective treatments for misophonia remain elusive, individuals report utilizing coping mechanisms to minimize their exposure and response to triggering stimuli (discussed at length below).Further, misophonia appears to exhibit some general similarities to tinnitus.In the latter study, psychiatrists presented questionnaires and administered interviews to 42 misophonics, an essential first step in showing that misophonia is a primary disorder with no obvious comorbidity with other known psychological or neurological conditions (Schröder et al., 2013).The prevalence of misophonia is under active investigation but there exist several online support groups with thousands of members (Misophonia UK, Facebook and Yahoo).Also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome, the term “misophonia” was first coined by Jastreboff (Jastreboff, 2000; Jastreboff and Jastreboff, 2001a,b, 2003) and little remains known about the condition.To our knowledge only two case studies (Hadjipavlou et al., 2008; Schwartz et al., 2011) and one clinical study (Schröder et al., 2013) have examined misophonia.