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Psychol Sci. 2014 Jan;25(1):170-8. doi: 10.1177/0956797613501884. Epub 2013 Nov 18.

Awe, uncertainty, and agency detection.

Author information

1
1Claremont McKenna College.

Erratum in

  • Psychol Sci. 2014 Jan;25(1). doi: 10.1177/0956797613501884.
  • Psychol Sci. 2014 Mar;25(3):844.

Abstract

Across five studies, we found that awe increases both supernatural belief (Studies 1, 2, and 5) and intentional-pattern perception (Studies 3 and 4)-two phenomena that have been linked to agency detection, or the tendency to interpret events as the consequence of intentional and purpose-driven agents. Effects were both directly and conceptually replicated, and mediational analyses revealed that these effects were driven by the influence of awe on tolerance for uncertainty. Experiences of awe decreased tolerance for uncertainty, which, in turn, increased the tendency to believe in nonhuman agents and to perceive human agency in random events.

KEYWORDS:

agency; awe; emotions; social cognition; supernatural belief

PMID:
24247728
DOI:
10.1177/0956797613501884
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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