Since the beginning of time, mankind has sought in every nook and cranny for ways to amplify the quality of their life. Now, with all the technological innovations and inventions at their disposal, researchers are unlocking the secrets that lie deep within the complex labyrinth of our brain in their quest to uncover how to amplify the quality of our lives. When it comes to the aspect of enhancing quality of life, one of the secrets that researchers have wonderingly walked upon is simply based on the concept of broadening our perception of time!
The concept of time is emergent and self-evident. Time is virtually an illusion; only the present reflects the reality. According to a research conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, being engulfed in the sense of awe will heighten the perception of time and in the process, enhance the quality of our life. Jennifer Aaker, author and General Atlantic professor of Stanford GSB, theorizes that being consumed by the aura of awe makes us feel belittle to the whole concept of life. She elaborates further that happiness has the same effect on us. To determine the link between awe and how it affects our perception of time, three experiments were conducted by Jennifer Aaaker, Melanie Rudd (main author hailing from Stanford GSB’s PhD program) and Kathleen D. Vohs (associate professor of University of Minnesota’s Carlton School of Management).
The first study was based on assessing whether it was the sense of awe or happiness that played a more pivotal role in broadening our perception of time. Results reflected that being in awe made us more aware of the present. As a consequence, our present moment, along with time, is magnified. The second experiment revolved around whether awe would evoke a charitable notion amongst the people and determine their patience level. Results showed that people who were in awe were more prone to being patient than people and they were more willing to divert their time to charitable causes than people who were happy. The last experiment was based on determining whether awe would cause people to select existential items over materialist items. Results revealed that people in awe preferred to select existential items.
You can read about this fascinating topic and all the details of the three experiments in the journal Psychological Science.