The universality of awe and the way it makes you a better person

April 2017

Awe seems to transcend human culture in a way that little else does.

Paul Piff, assistant professor of psychology and social behavior traveled to the Namibian desert with grad students to learn how the deeply traditional and seminomadic Himba people experience awe. Cooking on an open fire underneath a blanket of stars, the grad students and Himba people all were transfixed by the constellations above, Piff says in Sierra Magazine. "Different things inspire awe for different cultures, but the sky did it for all of us," he says. "Awe might be a universal experience that’s been built into the human system ... and one that we share with people around the world."

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