The Psychology of ‘Phew’

The Wall Street Journal:

“Although relief is readily identified and frequently experienced,” write the psychologists Kate Sweeny and Kathleen Vohs, in a new article, it is not understood well from the perspective of psychological science.”

As Christian Jarrett explains, at BPS Research Digest, the researchers identified two sets of feelings that might fall under the rubric of “relief”: One involving the completion of a task (“Phew, that’s finally done”) and one involving a near miss (“Phew, I’m not locked out of the house, after all”). The latter variety inspired thoughts about how much worse things might have been and, more interestingly, from a psychological perspective, thoughts of social isolation.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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