Nakayama, M., Nozaki, Y., Taylor, P. M., Keltner, D., & Uchida, Y. (2020)

Nakayama, M.(中山真孝), Nozaki, Y.(野崎優樹), Taylor, P. M., Keltner, D., & Uchida, Y.(内田由紀子) (2020). 
Individual and cultural differences in predispositions to feel positive and negative aspects of awe.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Psychological research on awe has largely focused on its positive dimensions, both in terms of the experiential state of awe and individual trait-based predispositions to awe experience. Little is known, however, about awe’s negative-valence dimensions, such as individual tendencies to experience awe as threatening. To gain a broader understanding of awe, the current study investigates individual predispositions to feel negative aspects of awe (i.e., threat) and positive aspects of awe (e.g., beauty) and examines how these two tendencies are interrelated. Additionally, this study uses both Japanese and US samples to explore whether predispositions to feel awe vary across cultures. Two studies (total N = 1245) suggests that in both Japanese and US samples, predispositions to feel positive and negative aspects of awe were separable. However, there were cultural differences: North Americans were more predisposed to feel positive aspects than Japanese, and the predispositions to feel positive and negative aspects were positively correlated for Japanese, but not North Americans. This contributes to a better understanding of how the valence of awe may be influenced by culturally-mediated patterns of affect.