HelpingOthersHelpThemselves

Counseling, Coaching, Psychology, Therapy

How Awe Affects Us (and what we can learn from it)

on June 13, 2015

PRONOIA BLOG

At the University of California, Berkeley, participants in a study were asked to stand and look at the tallest grove of hardwood trees in North America for one minute. Other participants were invited to gaze upon the facade of a science building for the same amount of time. At the end of the 60 seconds, researchers staged an accident in front of all the participants where someone stumbled and dropped pens. Those who had spent their time looking at the 200’ tall Tasmanian blue gum eucalyptus trees helped picked up more pens than those who had viewed the science building. In subsequent experiences, the tree group also demonstrated increased ethicality and reduced feelings of entitlement.

The researchers took a look at the emotions that each group was feeling and found that ‘awe’ was the only emotion reported at significantly higher levels among the tree group. This led researchers to determine…

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