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Psychologists Find That Exposure To Awesome Things Is Good For You

• http://www.businessinsider.com, Gus Lubin

Awe, which describes a "feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder" and comes from the old Norse word for "terror," seems like a strange subject for research, but its benefits are clear.

Lead author Melanie Rudd of Stanford University concluded that awe expands people's perception of time, enhances well-being and causes people to behave more altruistically and less materialistically.

How did they stimulate awe? Rudd explained over email:
 
The methods that were the most effective at stimulating awe were those that presented participants with a “new” awe experience (i.e., having participants watch the awe-eliciting commercial). Remembering a past awe-eliciting experience and reading about an imaginary awe-eliciting experience (i.e., the short story) also elicited awe, but relatively less compared to when participants experienced a “fresh” and “real” awe experience.

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