A Replication Study to Evaluate the Effects of Awe on Humility
The painting on the cover, created using mixed media — oil and digital — depicts this journal’s home campus of McGill University at the foot of Montréal’s Mount Royal. The city-scape, illuminated by the blinding accretion disc of a black hole in the night sky, brings these elusive and distant bodies within reach of scientific and creative minds alike.



How to Cite

Bertrand, A., Kimmel, J., Duhamel, S., Puel, H., Schifano, A., & Wood, Émilie. (2024). A Replication Study to Evaluate the Effects of Awe on Humility. McGill Science Undergraduate Research Journal, 19(1), 39–45. https://doi.org/10.26443/msurj.v19i1.231


This paper replicates Stellar and Colleagues’ 2018 study involving an experimental manipulation of awe using standardized video induction, as well as proposing and testing out an additional hypothesis. The previous study hypothesized that watching an awe-inducing video would lead participants to write fewer strengths before writing their weaknesses. In addition to the replication, we hypothesized that participants with higher scores of depressive symptomatology (DS) would list fewer strengths due to diminished self-concept and self-efficacy. Ninety-four undergraduate psychology students were recruited from McGill University ranging from 18 to 35 years of age. Participants were randomly assigned to either the awe-inducing or neutral video condition, and then filled out measures of humility, emotional reactions, and DS. In contradiction with the original study, participants in the awe condition and the neutral condition did not significantly differ in their ratio of disclosed strengths to weaknesses, therefore no significant correlations were found between awe and humility or humility and depression. Additionally, results indicated that participants with greater DS did not list fewer strengths compared to those scoring lower on the CES-D. We were unable to directly replicate the original study and thus rejected our alternate hypothesis. This study had various potential limitations, among which are the possibilities of self-report bias, issues regarding convenience sampling, and bias due to time constraints. The current study advances the literature by including depression relating to awe and humility. Further research is needed, to differentiate lab-induced awe from natural experiences of awe and identify possible moderating factors on humility.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2024 Alexandra Bertrand, Salomé Duhamel, Jonah Kimmel, Héloïse Puel, Alexandra Schifano, Émilie Wood


Download data is not yet available.