Based on these preliminary findings, Valdesolo and Graham are now looking at factors that modulate the effect of awe on belief in the supernatural.
For example, they are testing whether adopting submissive body postures, which make us feel less powerful, might dispose us to experiences of awe. Such a link could perhaps explain the presence of such postures in religious practice, such as kneeling, bowing, and gazing up.
“The more submissive we act, the more awe we might feel, and perhaps the stronger our beliefs become,” says Valdesolo.
Some research is valuable principally for what it tells us about the persons doing and consuming it rather than about its subjects.
Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose