Over the past decade, a growing body of psychological research has demonstrated the transformative power of awe and wonder. We’ve pulled together what we consider to be some excellent articles and videos exploring these emotions. We hope you enjoy!
On an exceptionally clear night, you look up and see thousands, maybe millions, of pinprick stars. The sky seems expansive, and yet the part we see represents an infinitesimally small portion of the existing universe. Pondering this, you are overcome by an ineffable, overwhelming feeling of wonder edged with fear.
Video: Bradley University professor, and author, Robert C. Fuller discusses the emotion of wonder:
How evolutionary biology, anthropology, and psychology together illuminate the most elusive-and sublime-human emotion. Speaker Bio: Bob Fuller is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Honors Program at Bradley University. The author of 12 books and more than 30 professional articles, he is one of the nation’s leading authorities in the connection between religion and psychology.
Taking in such spine-tingling wonders as the Grand Canyon, Sistine Chapel ceiling, or Schubert’s “Ave Maria” may give a boost to the body’s defense system, according to new research from UC Berkeley. Researchers have linked positive emotions-especially the awe we feel when touched by the beauty of nature, art, and spirituality-with lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are proteins that signal the immune system to work harder.
A new study found that experiencing a sense of awe promotes altruism, loving-kindness, and magnanimous behavior. The May 2015 study, “Awe, the Small Self, and Prosocial Behavior,” led by Paul Piff, PhD, from University of California, Irvine was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Imagine being Ryan Hreljac’s first grade teacher. After telling your class of six and seven year olds that children in Africa are dying because of lack of clean water, Ryan, one of your students, is so moved he has to do something.
I am awed every time I arrive home and my little dog bursts with happiness.That’s the purest proof of love for me, no faking, no lying, just a kind gesture of appreciation. For me, no man can show that much truth in a word, but these dogs somehow cannot cease to surprise me.
Teaching creativity to children from a galaxy away But can creativity be taught? Prof. Nira Liberman of Tel Aviv University ‘s School of Psychological Sciences, with her students Maayan Blumenfeld, Boaz Hameiri and Orli Polack, has demonstrated that children can be “primed” for creativity by how they are persuaded to think about and see the world around them.
“We enjoy and even thrill to the godlike possibilities we see in ourselves in peak moments. And yet we simultaneously shiver with weakness, awe and fear before these very same possibilities.” – Abraham Maslow Join Jason Silva every week as he freestyles his way into the complex systems of society, technology and human existence and discusses the truth and beauty of science in a form of existential jazz.
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