The Self-transcendent Emotion and the Transcending One's Self Performance: A Study of Positive Effect of the Emotion of Awe
In positive psychology, we are self-transcendent emotions that promote individual mental health. Theory and research have supported the idea that awe can help humanity through difficult times during the Covid-19 pandemic. Awe arises when individuals encounter perceptually vast stimuli that overwhelm their existing knowledge and mental structures. In our country, awe has been composed of five latent factors, including ""curiosity and exploration,"" ""a feeling of wonderment regarding nature,"" ""appreciation of artwork,"" ""a feeling of smallness,"" and ""social connection."" However, little attention has been paid to its effects. Recent studies have suggested that awe emotions can strengthen positive emotions and behaviors. We continued to study the impact and causal processes underlying the emotion of awe to expand its application and understanding of positive human behaviors and to promote the development of a harmonious and peaceful society. The aim of the current study was to examine the relationship between awe, gratitude, prosocial behavior, and well-being across two studies. In Study 1, we examined the mediating roles of gratitude and prosocial behavior in the relationship between awe and subjective well-being. A total of 720 college students completed online questionnaires to determine the constructs of the awe model. The data were analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The model was found to be the best fit based on the overall model verification. The results of Study 1 demonstrated that awe was significantly associated with gratitude, prosocial behavior, and subjective well-being. Individuals with higher awe exhibited more positive emotions and positive tendencies. Furthermore, prosocial behavior completely mediated the relationship between awe, gratitude, and subjective well-being. Thus, prosocial behavior plays a key role in promoting well-being. In Study 1, we tested the causal role of different emotions (awe, positive emotions, and negative emotions) on prosocial behavior using an experimental method. We used video clips (nature, threats to nature, and silent comedy) to evoke the three emotions. After inducing emotions, we examined participants’ emotional states using an opening question and emotional self-report scales, including the General Awe Scale, Gratitude Scale, Positive and Negative Affect Scales, and Prosocial Scale, and asked them about their willingness to donate money to present their prosocial behavior. First, we performed a sentiment analysis of participants’ comments on videos using word cloud analytics. Second, data were collected and analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation coefficient, ANOVA, and PROCESS model analysis. The results of Study 2 showed that natural videos could evoke awe, threats to nature videos could evoke both negative and awe emotions, and silent comedy videos could evoke general positive emotions. Participants in both the positive and negative awe conditions had higher feelings of gratitude and prosocial tendencies. The results showed that positive awe, which was induced experimentally rather than through negative awe, and generally positive emotions caused people to donate more money. In summary, these findings suggest that awe generally makes people more prosocial, but only positive awe produces behaviors that are more prosocial. Positive awe may help to situate individuals in broader social contexts and enhance their collective concerns. Finally, the conclusion offers some suggestions. Future studies should focus on other criterion variables, such as learning satisfaction, curiosity, and learning outcomes, as these areas are also associated with a greater sense of awe. Future researchers could also compare differences in social behavior, such as volunteering to help other people, increasing the willingness to volunteer time, engaging in green consumption, and volunteering to solve environmental problems. Awe can also be combined with virtual reality technology, as it has been proposed that the use of VR could be an effective way to induce awe in controlled experimental settings.
|關鍵詞||主觀幸福感、自我超越的情緒、利社會行為、感恩、敬畏情緒、Awe-emotion、gratitude、prosocial behavior、self-transcendent emotion、well-being|