I have a theory—more like hypothesis because it hasn’t been tested—that most people have one or two dominant senses. By that I mean one or two of your senses is stronger than the others, which consequently determines your interests (or even dislikes). After all, a heightened sensitivity to something could result in a richer experience, where one notices subtleties that most other people miss.
I’m probably actually referring to perception, or how the brain processes sensory input, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll use the word sense, since you’re probably familiar with the five traditional senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. There are also other senses, such as kinesthetic and vestibular, which refers to movement and balance, respectively.
Starting with myself, I think my strongest senses are visual and auditory. I love looking at colorful images, and have an interest in photography and computer graphics, along with other visual art forms. I tend to notice small details in my surroundings that most people overlook. (That’s not to say that I have good vision; I need glasses. This is why it’s more about perception than sensation.) I enjoy music and have a good sense of pitch.
When I asked my mom what she thought were her strongest senses, she said taste and hearing. She likes to cook and play the piano. My sister reported her two to be smell and touch. She loves perfumes and enjoys petting soft things.
Things got interesting when I asked my boyfriend the same question. Not surprisingly, the photography nerd said his strongest sense was vision. However, the other sense was olfaction, and he can’t stand perfume.
This made me wonder if being especially sensitive to something will lead to an aversion to it, as a result of feeling overwhelmed. It makes sense. (No pun intended. 😛 ) Noises sound louder to me than they do to most other people. Even when it’s not noisy, I indiscriminately pick up every sound in my environment, which more often is a curse than a blessing.
I’m curious if my observations apply to other people. Which one or two senses do you think are your strongest and how are they related to your interests or aversions?