There are available few examples of inductive research on the subject of the matter of sensory reactivity, particularly in relation to autistic traits among the general population. This study used a mixed-methods approach. This study was done with the purpose to explore the nature of sensory experiences among people with different levels of autistic traits.

Participants completed the Glasgow Sensory Questionnaire and the Autism Spectrum Quotient to ensure that they fulfill the inclusion criteria to be a part of the study. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed on the data to obtain interpretable results. Responses to the open questions were analyzed as part of this study, and the closed questionnaire data have been reported elsewhere. Data were coded and responses quantitatively compared by the group. In addition, data were qualitatively analyzed using a general inductive approach, which resulted in two themes: “problematic sensory experiences” and “calming sensory experiences.”

The study concluded through its findings that the coping mechanisms and certain aspects of the sensory experience vary according to autistic trait level, and provide insight into the nature of sensory reactivity across the general population.