Psychology Awe’s Good as It Gets

The Wall Street Journal:

Feeling a sense of awe causes people to feel less rushed and impatient—and, at least briefly, happier about their lives.

Researchers induced awe in participants through various means, including watching televised scenes of waterfalls, astronauts in space, and whales, and reading about gazing out over Paris from the Eiffel Tower. (Control groups watched people getting showered with confetti and other scenes.)

People primed to feel awe reported less of a sense that “time is slipping away” and a stronger belief that there was enough time to get things done. They also reported a greater willingness to volunteer for charity and expressed a preference for “experiential” goods, such as movie tickets, over material objects of identical value (say, a $10 voucher for gasoline).

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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