So how can we stimulate awe? Lead author Melanie Rudd of Stanford told us their most effective method was exposing subjects to an awe-inspiring video:
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.
The video used in the study “depicted people in city streets and parks encountering and interacting with vast, mentally overwhelming, and seemingly realistic images, such as waterfalls, whales, and astronauts in space.”
Although Rudd couldn’t share the exact video, we were emailed something at least as good. (Update: Rudd tells us the video “looks great.”)
BI-reader Jason Silva is an experimental artist who has been featured in The Atlantic and Wired and who makes short videos that “explore the co-evolution of humans and technology… and seek to reinvent how we ‘capture’ and disseminate AWE itself.”
The video Silva sent us elicits awe… and therefore it will improve your life.
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