The development of the Awe Experience Scale (AWE-S): A multifactorial measure for a complex emotion

David B. Yaden, Scott Barry Kaufman, Elizabeth Hyde, Alice Chirico, Andrea Gaggioli, Jia Wei Zhang, Dacher Keltner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Awe is a complex emotion composed of an appraisal of vastness and a need for accommodation. The purpose of this study was to develop a robust state measure of awe, the Awe Experience Scale (AWE-S), based on the extant experimental literature. In study 1, participants (N = 501) wrote about an intense moment of awe that they had experienced and then completed a survey about their experience. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a 6-factor structure, including: altered time perception (F1); self-diminishment (F2); connectedness (F3); perceived vastness (F4); physical sensations (F5); need for accommodation (F6). Internal consistency was strong for each factor (α ≥ .80). Study 2 confirmed the 6-factor structure (N = 636) using fit indices (CFI = .905; RMSEA = .054). Each factor of the AWE-S is significantly correlated with the awe items of the modified Differential Emotions Scale (mDES) and Dispositional Positive Emotion Scale (D-PES). Triggers, valence, and themes associated with awe experiences are reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-488
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 4 2019

Keywords

  • Awe
  • emotion
  • factor analysis
  • scale
  • self-transcendent experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The development of the Awe Experience Scale (AWE-S): A multifactorial measure for a complex emotion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this