Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Other

Date of this Version

8-1-2021

Abstract

This capstone seeks to explore the complex emotion of awe and the effects of flow and anxiety on the experience of awe in scuba diving. Scuba diving is a strong elicitor of awe and is a challenging, high risk activity requiring both technical skill and a calm mind. In this mixed methods study, awe elicited by scuba diving was studied immediately following a scuba dive (Study 1) and via the internet through recollection tasks (Study 2). Results of Study 1 indicate that in the context of scuba diving, flow is correlated with the connectedness component of awe. Results of Study 2 indicate that when scuba diving experiences are recalled using a writing task (1) awe is experienced differently based on context, (2) flow is correlated with Composite Awe and negatively correlated with anxiety, (3) flow is correlated with the vastness, altered time perception and connectedness components of awe, when recalling a positive dive experience, and (4) anxiety is correlated with the small-self and accommodation components of awe when recalling a negative dive experience. This study reveals additional complexity in the study of awe, leads to further understanding of the subcomponents of the experience of awe, and provides evidence that in the experience of awe – context matters.

Keywords

awe, flow, anxiety, scuba diving, vastness, accommodation, small-self, time perception, connectedness, biophilia, self-transcendence

Topic

Well-being, Positive Emotions, Other Topics

Format

Empirical Study

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Date Posted: 14 September 2021