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The Impact of a Two-week Daily Intervention on Increased and Sustained Experiences of Awe

  • Author(s): Goldy, Sean
  • Advisor(s): Piff, Paul K
  • et al.
Abstract

The emotion awe is associated with numerous individual and social benefits, including increased physical and mental health, prosocial behavior, and humility (Stellar et al., 2017). Additionally, individuals can vary in their dispositional tendencies to awe. However, the emergent scientific literature on awe has not yet explored awe induced over time. Guided by intervention work on similar positive emotions (e.g., gratitude, compassion), I tested whether an awe intervention would a) increase daily reports of awe and individuals’ dispositional proneness to experiencing awe, and b) whether this proneness would be sustained after the end of the intervention. Participants (N = 237) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions (awe, pride, control) in which they were instructed to seek out and attune to emotional experiences pertaining to their condition over a 14-day intervention period. Participants in the awe condition reported greater daily awe across the 14-day intervention. Likewise, dispositional awe increased in only the awe condition between the beginning and end of the intervention period, and this increase was maintained two weeks after the end of the intervention. Results suggest that seeking out and attuning to awe for a prolonged period of time can increase daily and dispositional awe in a sustained way.

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