Awe: A precursor to something more
Awe is an emotion that signals the vast and extraordinary. It allows us to recognize the expanse of the world around us. It challenges the mind’s normal perception of reality and begs us to stretch beyond what we think we know. Contrary to many other positive emotions, awe turns our attention outside of ourselves. It orients our goals in service of those around us. Awe has implications for collectivist and prosocial behaviors, the diminishment of the self, and exploration of knowledge gaps. This study delves into awe as an emotional antecedent to meaningful social exploration and interaction with differing others. Participants in awe, pride, and neutral conditions read four vignettes about people of differing identities, rated their levels of empathy and interpersonal attraction, and completed an information recall task. Although data revealed mixed results, this study still implicates awe as an emotional precursor to social exploration.