The Self Compassionate Side of Awe: The Relationship between Awe and Self-Compassion via Self-Diminishment and Connectedness
Date of Award
M.A. in Psychology
Grace N. Rivera
University of Mississippi
Given that having a self-compassionate attitude is linked to positive psychological functioning, it is important to identify factors that promote self-compassion. Several self-transcendent experiences and emotions, which perceptually blur the lines between the self and others, predict self-compassion. Awe, a mixed-valance emotion defined by vastness and need for accommodation, seemed a likely candidate to promote self-compassion, as it is also a self- transcendent emotion with intra and interpersonal functions (e.g., increased humility, openness, and connection) that theory and empirical research has linked to self-compassion. Thus, we hypothesized that awe would promote self-compassion both directly and indirectly via boosted feelings of self-diminishment and connectedness. The study consisted of 351 undergraduates and a between-subjects manipulation, where participants watched one of four videos that elicited different flavors of awe (positive-nature awe, negative-nature awe, non-nature awe, or control). Results found that there was no significant difference in self-compassion and connectedness between conditions. However, compared to the control, both positive and negative nature awe increased self-diminishment, which negatively related to self-compassion. Negative nature awe also had a significant positive direct effect on self-compassion when accounting for the indirect effect via self-diminishment. While results of the study were mixed, several methodological concerns such as the studyâ€™s setting, type of self-diminishment scale, and awe manipulation are discussed, along with future directions and potential implications of this work.
Cavallaro, Rachael Marie, "The Self Compassionate Side of Awe: The Relationship between Awe and Self-Compassion via Self-Diminishment and Connectedness" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2360.