“Awe- Shucks”: uncovering the relationship between awe and domains of humility
Master of Science
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The current study sought to examine the relationship between awe (both valences) and domains of humility. In a preregistered study, 268 participants completed an online questionnaire with 12 measures of humility (ethical, intellectual, epistemic, environmental, religious, Einsteinian, self-abasing, modesty, sincerity, fairness, greed avoidance, and valuing humility) along with a video and written task meant to induce positive or negative awe. Of all the domains of humility used, it was hypothesized that positive awe (elicited and dispositional) would be best predicted by intellectual humility whereas negative awe (elicited and dispositional) would be best predicted by self-abasing humility. Results showed partial support for these hypotheses. Elicited positive awe from the videos was best predicted by epistemic humility followed by a facet of intellectual humility (appropriate discomfort of limitations) which were not significantly different. Religious humility was the best predictor of elicited positive awe from the written task and valuing humility was the best predictor of dispositional (positive) awe. Elicited negative awe from the videos was best predicted by religious humility however “meek self-abasing humility” was the best predictor amongst the emergent 18 humility factors. Modesty was the best predictor for elicited negative awe from the written task and dispositional negative awe was best predicted by appropriate discomfort of limitations followed by self-abasing humility which were not statistically different. Overall, cognitive domains of humility were better predictors of awe than (pro)social domains of humility which may have implications for the function of awe.