Awe and prosociality

Previous studies explained the positive prosocial effect of awe prompted by monumental structures or ceremonies by a sense of individual tininess where one feels to be a small part of greater entity. Here, emphasizing the role of cultural context and using behavioral measures of prosociality, authors tested whether awe also increases prosociality on a Czech sample.

1 Jul 2021

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In contrast to studies carried out in the US population—and mostly based on hypothetical scenario measures—, they found that in the Czech population awe decreases prosociality. The inverse effect can be explained by an increased motivation to spend personal time meaningfully, not on prescribed and monotonous prosocial tasks. The results suggest that dependent on cultural contexts, the awe emotion can have differential effects on prosocial behavior, showing that models build upon studies carried out in the USA cannot be globally generalized.

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