The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck

| 1/21/2014 12:40:00 PM

Grand Canyon National Park

According to a study by Stanford psychology students, experiencing a sense of awe can offset stress, sleep disorders, diminished satisfaction with life, and other adverse effects that often accompany the feeling of having too much to do and not enough time. Results showed that awe, characterized by an urge to reevaluate one’s psychological perception in the face of a significantly emotional experience, can modify a person’s assessment of time availability by bringing them “into the present moment.” Participants reported feeling as if they had more time to spend, leading to an increased enthusiasm for volunteering, a higher satisfaction with life, and an inclination to choose experiential rather than material goods.

In this video, filmmaker Jason Silva elicits the awe that is so vital to the human experience while discussing the Stanford study, Nicholas Humphrey’s research on the biological advantage of being awestruck, and Ross Andersen’s response to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Photo by Grand Canyon NPS, licensed under Creative Commons.

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter

click me