Experimental elicitations of awe: a meta-analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • A meta-analytic review of studies that experimentally elicited awe and compared the emotion to other conditions (84; 487 effects; 17,801 participants) examined the degree to which experimentally elicited awe (1) affects outcomes relative to other positive emotions (2) affects experience, judgment, behaviour, and physiology, and (3) differs in its effects if the awe state was elicited through positive or threatening contexts. The efficacy of methods that have been used to experimentally elicit awe and the possibility of assessing changes in the state of the self with experimental awe elicitations were also examined. Meta-analyses with robust variance estimation revealed that awe affected outcomes compared to other positive emotions and control conditions; affected experience, judgment, and behaviour; and had similar effects if elicited through positive or threatening contexts. The ability to compare awe to negative emotion states and its effects on physiology was limited by a small number of available effects. Images, videos, autobiographical recall, and naturalistic exposure were effective in eliciting awe. Exploratory analyses suggested that some processes involved in changes in the self can be related to experimental awe elicitations. These findings suggest awe is a discrete emotion and identifies areas for future investigation.

published proceedings

  • Cogn Emot

altmetric score

  • 5.95

author list (cited authors)

  • Prez, K. A., Lench, H. C., Thompson, C. G., & North, S.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • PĂ©rez, Kenneth A||Lench, Heather C||Thompson, Christopher G||North, Sophia

publication date

  • February 2023