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<p>Although humility is considered by many to be a foundational virtue with important consequences for interpersonal relationships, very little is known about how it can be cultivated. We propose that awe, an epistemological and prosocial emotion, promotes humility and take an appraisal-based approach to identify the process by which it does so. In keeping with our hypothesis, individuals prone to feeling awe were rated as more humble by observers, controlling for positive affect and relevant personality traits (Study 1). This relationship also manifested in daily reports of awe and humility across a two-week daily experience sampling study, controlling for positive affect and another prosocial emotion (compassion; Study 2). Laboratory inductions of awe led participants to present a more balanced view of their strengths and weaknesses to others (Study 3) and acknowledge to a greater degree the role of outside forces in their own accomplishments (Study 4) compared to a neutral control and another epistemological emotion (amusement). Finally, feeling awe in a place of natural beauty led to greater reported humility than an outdoor control location, controlling for other positive emotions (Study 5). Evidence from the last two studies confirmed the role of two theorized appraisals (vastness and the need for accommodation) in generating awe, which leads to self-diminishment and subsequently humility. Taken together, these results suggest awe is one pathway toward promoting humility.</p>
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