icubud (icubud) wrote,

Awe to nourish the soul

From The Week magazine August 10, 2012 edition - page 19

Gazing at a beautiful landscape or listening to a majestic symphony may make people feel less rushed, more patient, and more compassionate toward others. Stanford University researchers have discovered that awe—as opposed to joy or other positive emotions—gives people the sense that time has slowed down. That feeling, in turn, has a major impact on “everyday decision making,” study author Melanie Rudd She and her colleagues showed one group of volunteers a video of awe-inspiring scenes, such as waterfalls and breaching whales, and another group a happy video featuring confetti and a parade. The researchers also had participants read or write about either an awesome experience or a blander one. When they quizzed the volunteers afterward, those who had watched, read about, or recalled an awesome moment were more likely to report feeling unhurried. They were also more apt to agree to donate their time to charity, and to prefer spending money on experiences, such as seeing a play, rather than on material goods. Researchers say the participants reported that the “small dose of awe” had given them “a momentary boost in life satisfaction.” 
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