Members in the Media
From: Smithsonian

Feeling Small in the Face of Nature Makes People More Generous


From the majestic towers of Monument Valley to the stars painted on the ceiling of Grand Central Station, awe-inspiring wonders are all around. Sometimes taking a moment to stop and appreciate something like the Grand Canyon or a clear, starry night can make you feel like a tiny part of a massive universe swirling around. And that sensation of being a small speck might actually make you a kinder, more generous person.

“Our investigation indicates that awe, although often fleeting and hard to describe, serves a vital social function,” said Paul Piff, an assistant professor of psychology and social behavior at UC Irvine, in a statement. “By diminishing the emphasis on the individual self, awe may encourage people to forgo strict self-interest to improve the welfare of others.”

Read the whole story: Smithsonian

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