Monday 16 Jan, 2017

Are you ready to do something awesome with your students?

This week, the Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Bernstein reports on studies that find the emotion of awe may make people more empathetic, trusting, generous and humble.

The actual feeling of awe, and experiences that inspire it, benefit us in all sorts of ways, from stronger health to improved relationships, according to several recent studies.

Researchers have found “awe experiences” increase our prosocial behaviors, making us more generous and more humble. They increase our “empathic accuracy,” so we recognize another person’s emotional expression and respond with concern. And they make us more willing to engage with trust and connect with others.

Bernstein provides examples of inner city youth finding awe when experiencing adventure in nature:

People report having three awe experiences a week on average, says Dacher Keltner, director of the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Keltner’s lab has been working with the Sierra Club to take 56 inner-city high-school students on a rafting trip and study whether they experience academic benefits. Preliminary findings show that a week after the trip the teens reported being more engaged and curious about what was happening in the world.

Offering your students the opportunity to go abroad—over a semester or on a faculty-led trip—could give them the opportunity to experience awe that will broaden the way they perceive the world and themselves.

Read the full article on WSJ.com – Researchers Study Awe and Find It is Good for Relationships

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