The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible

Living Edition
| Editors: Vlad Petre Glăveanu (Editor-in-Chief)


Living reference work entry


If experiences of profound transformation have a core moment, that can be awe, an emotion able to maximize the possibility to change especially through its self-transcendent nature. Awe arises from stimuli so vast to prompt people to go beyond their current schema. Awe would drag people into a deep moment of uncertainty in which assimilation process fails, but accommodation has not successfully taken place yet. In this middle-suspended moment of extreme potential, everything might occur. This entry started with the current psychological definition of awe; then, it summarizes main researches in this field. Finally, I outlined the transformative nature of this phenomenon – as a self-transcendent emotion – and a new perspective to frame it in relation to a sense of possibility to change.


Awe Transformation Change Possibility 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Serena Mastria

There are no affiliations available