Alice Chirico, Andrea Gaggioli
…we proposed an up-to-date unifying proposal of awe’s functioning, which allowed for a revision of all the empirical evidence supporting the potential therapeutic role of awe for contrasting specifically MDD. The core message of this work concerns the elicitation of awe as a potential therapeutic integrative intervention for contrasting depression.
Clewis, R. R., Yaden, D. B., and Chirico, A.
By operationalizing aspects of the sublime drawn from influential philosophical theories and comparing them with psychological measures of awe, we find a large degree of overlap between awe and the sublime, suggesting that these two literatures could inform one another.
Jonathon McPhetres and Andrew Shtulman
While participants self-reported high levels of goosebumps and “the chills,” there was no physical evidence of this response. These results suggest that piloerection is not reliably connected to the experience of awe-at least using stimuli known to elicit awe in an experimental setting.
Building on theories regarding psychological selfhood, we propose that awe may interact with the self not just in terms of attentional focus but rather at multiple layers of selfhood. We further reinterpret the small self using the notion of the quiet ego from personality psychology. Linking awe to an enriched model of the self provided by personality psychology may be fruitful for explaining a range of phenomena and motivating future research.
Two studies (total N = 1245) suggests that in both Japanese and US samples, predispositions to feel positive and negative aspects of awe were separable. However, there were cultural differences…
The awe some scientists experience can be regarded as a form of non-theistic spirituality, which is neither a reductive naturalism nor theism. I will attempt to resolve the tension between these views by identifying some common ground.
Chen, S. K., and Mongrain, M.
We argue that awe may promote prosocial instincts through the recognition of one’s place in a vast interconnected world and be particularly beneficial in this age of rapid technological progress and social unrest.
Virginia E. Sturm, Samir Datta, Ashlin R. K. Roy, Isabel J. Sible, Eena L. Kosik, Christina R. Veziris, Tiffany E. Chow, Nathaniel A. Morris, John Neuhaus, Joel H. Kramer, Bruce L. Miller, Sarah R. Holley, and Dacher Keltner
Sheila Krogh-Jespersen, Kimberly A. Quinn, William L. D. Krenzer, Christine Nguyen,
Jana Greenslit, and C. Aaron Price
In this exploratory study, we find relationships between how guests attend to features within an exhibit space (e.g., signage) and their feelings of awe. We discuss implications of using both methods concurrently to shed new light on exhibit design, and more generally for working in transdisciplinary multimethod teams to move scientific knowledge and application forward.
Based on the latest research in affective science, however, we challenge this narrow version of awe in science communication and instead advocate a broader account of this emotion in line with a constructionist perspective. We argue that there are a variety of awe types in science communication, each with different forms and functions in relation to the mandates within the multiplicity of contexts in this cultural space.
Ryota Takano and Michio Nomura
Our findings suggest that awe might provoke a “liberation of the self” in terms of a sense of body ownership as awe has been thought to liberate existing schemas, hence informing the demonstrable implications of the psychological mechanisms of awe.
These findings indicate that awe may lead to uncertainty and ambivalence regarding one’s attitudes, a form of epistemological humility, and that this in turn may promote reduced dogmatism and increased perceptions of social cohesion.
If experiences of awe-inspiring ceremonies, leaders, historical artefacts and natural features have a prosocial component that encourages consideration of group-level interests, it is possible that the “need for accommodation” component of awe is, in many cases, a social process. Within the framework of self-categorisation theory, it might be a process of adopting the identity of a group that is broader than family-based and friendship-based groups that one typically identifies with.
We found that dispositional awe was positively related to people’s self-rated curiosity (Study 1) and how curious they were rated by their friends (Study 2). In Study 3, we found that dispositional awe was related to academic outcomes via curiosity.
…Together these findings suggest that a key feature of the experience of awe is a reduced engagement in self‐referential processing, in line with the subjective self‐report measures (i.e., participants perceived their self to be smaller)
Graziosi, M., and Yaden, D
Awe was elicited by close others compared to a neutral control, although the interpersonal form of awe was less intense than awe caused by nature. Qualitative analyses revealed that awe triggered by nature was defined by themes of beauty, while interpersonal awe was defined by themes of virtue or excellence of character.
Nelson-Coffey, S. K., Ruberton, P. M., Chancellor, J., Cornick, J. E., Blascovich, J., and Lyubomirsky, S.
These findings suggest that experiences that are commonly considered awe-inspiring—such as viewing a picturesque landscape—may be more appropriately conceptualized more broadly as self-transcendent. More work is needed to determine whether the documented benefits of awe may be more appropriately interpreted as the benefits of self-transcendent emotions.
Bethelmy, L. C., and Corraliza, J. A.
Awe was defined by feelings of fear, threat, vulnerability, fragility, and respect for nature, which is perceived as vast, powerful, and mysterious. Inspiring energy was defined by feelings of vitality, joy, energy, oneness, freedom, eternity, and harmony with the universe.
Positive affectivity has a robust positive effect on meaning in life, suggesting that positive awe experiences might increase meaning. At the same time, however, awe experiences lead to a diminished self that reflects feelings of smallness and insignificance, which might negatively predict meaning. We thus hypothesized that awe experiences can, in some contexts, produce competing indirect effects on judgments of meaning in life through happiness and small‐self feelings.
The current findings indicate that lab-induced awe does not affect implicit and explicit time perception and we suggest that more ecologically valid ways to induce awe may be required in future studies.
Ekaterina R. Stepanova, Denise Quesnel, and Bernhard E. Riecke
The results indicate that the experience of being in “AWE” can elicit some components of awe emotion and induce minor cognitive shifts in participant’s worldview similar to the Overview Effect, while this experience also has its own attributes that might be unique to this specific medium.
David B. Yaden, Scott Barry Kaufman, Elizabeth Hyde, Alice Chirico, Andrea Gaggioli, Jia Wei Zhang & Dacher Keltner
Awe is a complex emotion composed of an appraisal of vastness and a need for accommodation. The purpose of this study was to develop a robust state measure of awe, the Awe Experience Scale (AWE-S… Exploratory factor analysis revealed a 6-factor structure, including: altered time perception (F1); self-diminishment (F2); connectedness (F3); perceived vastness (F4); physical sensations (F5); need for accommodation (F6).
This chapter describes recent advances in the experimental literature on awe, reviews some methods of inducing this emotion in the lab, and discusses some theories regarding its functions.
Yan Yang , Jing Hu, Fengjie Jing, and Bang Nguyen
These findings indicate that awe helps broaden the self-concept by including nature and increase connectedness to nature, which in turn lead to ecological behavior. They also highlight the significance of connectedness in explaining why awe increases ecological behavior.
…these results provide the first empirical evidence of awe as an “epistemic emotion” by demonstrating its effects on awareness of knowledge gaps. These findings are also extended to the effects of awe on science interest as one possible outcome of awareness of knowledge gaps.
Results suggest that AWE can elicit the target emotional experience of awe, prompt a transformative experience, and improve well-being in some participants.
Absorption: How Nature Experiences Promote Awe and Other Positive Emotions
Results indicate that nature fosters awe and other positive emotions when people feel captivated and engrossed in their surroundings.
Evidence from the last 2 studies showed that the influence of awe upon the small self accounted for increases in collective engagement, fitting with claims that awe promotes integration into social groups.
In the present research we tested whether there is a more negative variant of awe that arises in response to vast, complex stimuli that are threatening (e.g., tornadoes, terrorist attack, wrathful god)… Positive awe experiences in daily life (Study 4) and in the lab (Study 5) led to greater momentary well-being (compared with no awe experience), whereas threat-based awe experiences did not. This effect was partially mediated by increased feelings of powerlessness during threat-based awe experiences. Together, these findings highlight a darker side of awe.
Hu, X., Yu, J., Song, M., Yu, C., Wang, F., Sun, P., et al.
Based on the similarities of the participants’ ratings on the ten positive emotions, these emotions were further clustered into three representative clusters, as ‘encouragement’ for awe, gratitude, hope, inspiration, pride, ‘playfulness’ for amusement, joy, interest, and ‘harmony’ for love, serenity…To our knowledge, our study provides the first piece of evidence on the EEG correlates of different positive emotions.
…we found in two online experiments that the induction of awe, compared to the induction of amusement or a neutral condition, leads to increased prosocial behavioral intentions of generosity (spontaneous sharing of hypothetical gains) and help of a person in need – in hypothetical everyday life situations.
Existential philosophy emphasizes the role of conscious analysis in developing a meaning framework, and we suggest that powerful awe experiences facilitate a cognitive and motivational mindset that is especially conducive to this personal work.
Kathleen E. Darbor, Heather C. Lench, William E. Davis & Joshua A. Hicks
There were differences in the language used to describe these positive emotional states, consistent with the theorised functions of each emotion. Awe was related to observing the world, reflected in greater use of perception words. Wonder was related to trying to understand the world, reflected in greater use of cognitive complexity and tentative words.
Overall, our findings suggest that very tall buildings can be a trigger of awe, and that experiencing this emotion can involve a state of behavioral freezing.
Krause, N., and Hayward, R. D.
Piercarlos Valdesolo and Jesse Graham
2012 and previous