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You will consistently experience goosebumps in response to the same triggers

It is often suggested that piloerection, or goosebumps, is primarily triggered by emotional experience—theoretical perspectives place a heavy emphasis on experiencing novelty and surprise. However, the two studies described here challenge this perspective, demonstrating that the incidence of piloerection is not contingent upon exposure to novel stimuli and is disconnected from self-reported emotions. Study 1 (N = 80) shows that piloerection was not more likely to occur among individuals exposed to unfamiliar stimuli compared to those with prior exposure. Additionally, self-reported emotions were not correlated with observed piloerection. Study 2 (N = 27) found that piloerection persists throughout multiple exposures to identical stimuli. Importantly, the trajectories of observed piloerection and self-reported emotions diverged greatly. These findings challenge the common view that piloerection—unlike self-reported goosebumps and chills—is driven by emotional experience, suggesting that it may not be as closely connected to emotional experiences as previously theorised. Show less

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