Awe and Scientific Explanation

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Abstract

Past research has established a relationship between awe and explanatory frameworks, such as religion. We extend this work, showing (a) the effects of awe on a separate source of explanation: attitudes toward science, and (b) how the effects of awe on attitudes toward scientific explanations depend on individual differences in theism. Across 3 studies, we find consistent support that awe decreases the perceived explanatory power of science for the theistic (Study 1 and 2) and mixed support that awe affects attitudes toward scientific explanations for the nontheistic (Study 3).

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