More Research on Awe (10-14-19)

Stancato and Keltner have identified additional implications of feeling awed.  They share that “Guided by prior work documenting that awe promotes humility, increases perceptions of uncertainty, and diminishes personal concerns . . . we tested the hypothesis that awe results in reduced conviction about one’s ideological attitudes. . . . participants induced to experience awe, relative to those feeling amusement or in a neutral control condition, expressed less conviction regarding their attitudes toward capital punishment. . . . and reduced desired social distance from those with different viewpoints regarding immigration. . . . These findings indicate that awe may lead to uncertainty and ambivalence regarding one’s attitudes . . . and that this in turn may promote reduced dogmatism and increased perceptions of social cohesion.” Research has shown that awe can be induced, for instance, by seeing majestic nature, such as the Grand Canyon, impressive architecture, for instance the Taj Mahal, and examples of outstanding workmanship.

Daniel Stancato and Dacher Keltner. “Awe, Ideological Conviction, and Perceptions of Ideological Opponents.”  Emotion, in press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/emo0000665