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Table 4 Item loadings for factors 1 (Fac1) and 2 (Fac2) for all 92 items of the Sensory Perception Quotient (SPQ), and item breakdown of the SPQ domains and subdomains (for example, taste-salty)

From: The Sensory Perception Quotient (SPQ): development and validation of a new sensory questionnaire for adults with and without autism

Factor loadings and item break down Factor loading Item domain
Item Control group ASC group  
  Fac1 Fac2 Fac1 Fac2  
1 I would notice if someone added 5 grains of salt to my cup of water. .34 -.18 .38 -.35 Taste-salty
2a I would be able to distinguish different people by their smell. .60 .23 .42 -.22 Smell-social
3 I wouldn’t notice if someone added a spoonful of sugar to my tea. .02 .15 .35 .40 Taste-sweet
4 I wouldn’t be afraid of hurting myself when falling off my bike at high speed. .04 -.01 .03 .52 Touch-pain
5 I wouldn’t be able to detect the motion of the blades of a rotating fan even when it is at minimum speed. .09 .36 .30 .48 Vision-motion
6 The sound of a piano and a violin playing the same note seems very similar to me. -.02 .22 .26 .39 Hearing-complexity
7a I would be able to detect if a strawberry was ripe by smell alone. .38 .25 .55 -.11 Smell-food
8 I would be able to distinguish milk chocolate and dark chocolate by their taste alone. .31 .33 .47 .09 Taste-sweet
9 I cannot tolerate hot showers (above 40°C /105°F). .16 -.28 .23 -.12 Touch-pain
10 I wouldn’t need an anaesthetic to cope with a dental procedure, such as a cavity-filling. -.02 -.03 .13 .39 Touch-pain
11 I would have to wait for 10 minutes for a hot drink to cool down before swallowing it, otherwise it would be too hot for me. .27 -.19 .26 -.16 Touch-temperature
12a I would be able to visually detect the change in brightness of a light each time a dimmer control moved one notch. .49 .04 .60 -.23 Vision-brightness
13 I wouldn’t be able to detect large objects, such as parked cars, clearly on a dark night. -.12 .46 .33 .42 Vision-brightness
14a I would notice if someone added 5 drops of lemon juice to my cup of water. .48 .13 .56 -.08 Taste-sour
15 I would be the last person to detect if something was burning. .43 .30 .58 .46 Smell-danger
16 I wouldn’t be able to feel the vibrations from loud music if I was sitting next to the loud speaker (for example, at a concert). .04 .19 .38 .65 Touch-vibration
17 I wouldn’t be able to feel a small volume change in music as a difference in vibration on my skin. -.30 .19 -.63 .02 Touch-vibration
18 I can’t hear the TV when it is quiet, even when other people can. .01 .41 .33 .21 Hearing-loudness
19a I would be able to hear a leaf move if blown by the wind on a quiet street. .43 .05 .59 -.20 Hearing-loudness
20 I wouldn’t be able to taste the difference between two pieces of dark chocolate. .34 .18 .60 .10 Taste-sweet
21a I would be able to taste the difference between two brands of salty potato chips/crisps. .48 .17 .60 -.11 Taste-salty
22 When people are talking the words seem to merge together. -.32 .60 -.08 .42 Hearing-complexity
23 I can only look at bright colours for a brief period of time. .34 -.61 .48 -.47 Vision-colour
24 I would lose my balance very easily if I was standing on one foot with my eyes closed. .25 -.51 .03 -.41 Hearing-vestibular
25 I wouldn’t be able to smell a barbecue from 60 feet (20 metres) away. .40 .27 .52 .41 Smell-food
26 I can’t spin round and round without falling over. -.17 .42 -.24 .33 Hearing-vestibular
27 I wouldn’t notice a 10 degree difference in temperature of the weather. .22 .36 .24 .57 Touch-temperature
28 I can drink tea/coffee ‘straight’, without needing to add milk or sugar. .20 -.26 .23 .06 Taste-bitter
29 I can’t hear the bass in music. .30 .35 .45 .42 Hearing-frequency
30 I would be able to smell the difference between freshly cut grass and uncut grass. .27 .14 .49 -.05 Smell-neutral
31a I wouldn’t be able to feel the label at the back of my shirt even if I thought about it. .50 -.29 .57 .21 Touch-pressure
32a I can hear electricity humming in the walls. .43 -.36 .57 .44 Hearing-frequency
33a I notice the flickering of a desktop computer even when it is working properly. .52 -.32 .61 -.46 Vision-motion
34 I wouldn’t be able to tell if milk is off simply by smelling it. .22 .41 .52 .38 Smell-food
35a I would be able to notice a tiny change (for example, 1 degree) in the temperature of the weather. .46 .09 .58 -.32 Touch-temperature
36a I would be able to feel a one millimetre cut in my skin. .36 .09 .44 -.13 Touch-pain
37 I would be able to see the individual blades in a rotating fan even if it was at maximum speed. .29 -.20 .26 -.44 Vision-motion
38a I would be able to tell the weight difference between two different coin sizes on the palm of my hand, if my eyes were closed. .42 .03 .62 -.25 Touch-pressure
39 I wouldn’t get dizzy on a carousel/merry-go-round, even at high speed. .03 .07 -.02 .24 Hearing-vestibular
40 I can’t see written words on a page that other people can see. -.12 .37 -.14 .63 Vision-acuity
41 I would be able to distinguish between two oranges purely by their taste. .48 .22 .31 -.11 Taste-sour
42a I couldn’t distinguish a familiar person and a stranger by their smell. .41 .25 .42 .11 Smell-social
43a I couldn’t detect if bread is stale purely by its smell. .38 .06 .58 .16 Smell-food
44 I can’t tell if my clothes are clean or dirty by smell alone. .30 .35 .43 .48 Smell-neutral
45a I would be able to detect the sound of a vacuum cleaner from any room in a two-storey building. .44 .04 .51 -.03 Hearing-frequency
46 I wouldn’t notice the difference between even and uneven ground when driving over it sitting in the back seat of a car. .38 .31 .46 .47 Touch-vibration
47 I would be able to drink a cup of boiling water straight after it had been poured from the kettle. -.03 .04 .16 .49 Touch-pain
48 I couldn’t tell two types of green apples apart purely from their colour. .31 .26 .49 .36 Vision-colour
49 I would be able to distinguish between an old and a new book by their smell. .25 .18 .58 -.06 Smell-neutral
50 I would be able to read a street sign from a distance of 100 feet (30 metres). -.09 .29 .22 -.01 Vision-acuity
51 I can’t tell if cars passing me on the street are going at different speeds. .15 .35 .25 .51 Vision-motion
52 I would be able to notice if someone added 5 grains of sugar to my glass of water. .37 -.05 .35 -.30 Taste-sweet
53 I would have difficulty seeing a single leaf clearly even on a tree that is close up. .21 .36 .34 .56 Vision-acuitity
54 I wouldn’t taste if someone added a whole teaspoon of salt to my glass of water. .20 .37 .23 .56 Taste-salty
55a I would be able to feel the elastic holding up my socks if I stop and thought about it. .57 -.11 .57 -.11 Touch-pressure
56 I can’t taste the difference between ripe and non-ripe fruit. .21 .41 .39 .56 Taste-sweet
57 I would be able to stand on one foot for fifteen seconds without wobbling. .15 -.44 .22 -.06 Hearing-vestibular
58a I would be able to taste the difference between apparently identical pieces of candy. .37 -.27 .59 -.27 Taste-sweet
59a I notice the weight and pressure of a hat on my head. .49 -.06 .61 -.19 Touch-pressure
60a I would feel if a single hair touched the back of my hand. .59 -.08 .64 -.20 Touch-pressure
61a If I was walking along, I would be able to feel a passing truck’s vibrations even if my eyes were closed. .54 -.00 .69 -.07 Touch-vibration
62a I would be able to smell the smallest gas leak from anywhere in the house. .64 -.09 .71 -.29 Smell-danger
63a I wouldn’t notice if someone changed their perfume, by smell alone. .43 .19 .59 .23 Smell-social
64 I would be able to tell when an elevator/lift started moving. .25 .07 .53 .10 Hearing-vestibular
65 I can hear dog whistles very easily in the park. .32 -.15 .50 -.30 Hearing-frequency
66 I wouldn’t taste the difference between different types of lettuce leaves. .45 .27 .17 .36 Taste-bitter
67 I couldn’t taste if there were two slices of lemon in my glass of water if I was drinking it with my eyes closed. .31 .19 .48 .51 Taste-sour
68a I can’t go out in bright sunlight without sunglasses. .47 -.26 .55 -.35 Vision-brightness
69 I would be able to read small print, such as a serial number on the back of a DVD, at 10 feet (3 metres) away. -.17 .02 .04 -.38 Vision-acuity
70 I get motion sickness easily (for example, car sickness or sea sickness) .21 -.01 -.01 -.11 Vision-motion
71a I would be able to feel a change in the temperature of a cup of coffee after it had sat for 1 minute. .51 .07 .56 -.12 Touch-temperature
72 I can’t hear very low frequency sounds, such as low voices. .09 .52 .44 .27 Hearing-frequency
73a I would be the first to hear if there was a fly in the room. .61 -.08 .70 -.27 Hearing-loudness
74a If I look at a pile of blue sweaters in a shop that are meant to be identical, I would be able to see differences between them. .51 -.26 .68 -.25 Vision-colour
75a I wouldn’t detect a new smell in my house instantly before anyone else. .55 .26 .58 .19 Smell-neutral
76 I have perfect pitch: for example, I could repeat a musical tone without any cue. -.42 .04 -.21 .16 Hearing-complex
77 I would be able to bite into a lemon without any problems. .15 -.32 .18 .25 Taste-sour
78 I wouldn’t need to wear a coat in the winter, even when it is zero degrees outside. -.01 -.03 -.12 -.52 Touch-temperature
79 I wouldn’t be able to match the colour of a sweater in the shop with the colour of my trousers at home. .22 .07 .14 .34 Vision-colour
80 I wouldn’t hear every single note when listening to music. .39 -.01 .33 .21 Hearing-frequency
81a I would be able to smell the difference between most men and women. .51 .25 .59 -.19 Smell-social
82 I choose to wear muted colours. .14 -.33 .41 -.31 Vision-brightness
83 I listen to music at minimum loudness. .15 -.22 .31 -.27 Hearing-loudness
84a I would be able to hear each note in a chord even if there were 10 notes. .38 -.13 .43 -.25 Hearing-complexity
85a I close curtains to avoid bright lights. .46 -.45 .49 -.37 Vision-acuity
86 I wouldn’t be able to hear differences in sound if the same instrument played the same note at different times. .27 -.12 .50 .20 Hearing-complex
87a I would be able to distinguish two brands of coffee by their smell, even with my eyes closed. .50 .01 .66 -.16 Smell-food
88a I can see dust particles in the air in most environments. .50 -.37 .63 -.42 Vision-acuity
89a I wouldn’t be able to taste the difference between two brands of tomato sauce if they had different concentrations of salt. .43 .26 .60 .35 Taste-salty
90a I would be able to smell the smallest amount of burning from anywhere in the house. .62 -.10 .76 -.20 Smell-danger
91a If my mobile phone was vibrating in my pocket I would be quick to sense it. .43 -.01 .59 .12 Touch-vibration
92 I find it difficult to see individual stars on a clear night. .15 .21 .43 .47 Vision-acuitity
  1. Sensory domains included: vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Italic items are linked to high thresholds (hyposensitive). Non-italic items are linked to lower thresholds (hypersensitive).
  2. a Items included in the short version of the SPQ (those items with factor loadings > .35 in one factor for both groups and a low loading (≤.35) on the other factor).