Exploring potential components of wildlife-inspired awe

Jonathan R. Hicks, William P. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Awe was defined by Shiota, Keltner, and Mossman (2007) as an emotional human response to stimuli that overwhelm current ways of thinking and feeling as people attempt to accommodate the stimuli. For the purposes of these findings, wildlife-inspired awe was defined as the attempted accommodation of overwhelming emotional human–wildlife interactions. To explore the development of a tool for measuring wildlife-inspired awe, an online questionnaire was employed and sent to a convenience sample in which memories of wildlife-inspired awe were chronicled. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used for identifying and sorting factors related to how people made sense of these memorable wildlife encounters. Three factors of wildlife-inspired awe emerged from the EFA and were labeled beauty, transcendence, and threat. The complexity of awe as an emotional response appeared to be captured within this study as awe has been framed as having both positive and negative affects. Results in the report provide insight into potential future strategies for measuring wildlife-inspired awe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-295
Number of pages3
JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2018


  • affect
  • awe
  • emotion
  • memory
  • wildlife

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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