Events like the solar eclipse can foster feelings crucial to collective life: study
Much folklore surrounds solar eclipses. Now, scientists believe that a solar eclipse event can foster psychological tendencies considered crucial to collective life.
The study, published in Psychological Science, claims that such events can have measurable social effects.. The researchers found that those who fell in the path of a solar eclipse were less self-centered and more prosocial than those who didn’t experience the eclipse in all its glory.
Such events can become a very collective experience. Have you seen horrifying scenes of a meteor hitting Earth and the planet’s inhabitants dropping everything and collectively watching the drama unfold in the streets? That’s the whole story.
Measuring prosocial feelings during a solar eclipse
This study aimed to measure group functioning, awe, and self-focus in relation to the group following the 2017 North American solar eclipse. The researchers collected Twitter data from 2,891,611 users in the framework of two studies for this research. The first study used information from Tweets posted between August 17 and August 23, 2017.
They found that while none of these people were in the same geographic location, their Tweets aimed to capture “prosociality, humility, self/collective focus, and awe.”
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For the second study, researchers looked at Twitter data before, during, and after the eclipse for people in three major metropolitan areas.
According to the results, prosociality and fearfulness increased for people who were on the path to eclipse. The first study showed that the feeling of dread increased for people living in the eclipse zone compared to people outside. The second study showed that the use of fear words increased during eclipses opposite to before and after in the same sample.
Additionally, the first study found that prosociality was noted in people who were on the eclipse path. They used more affiliative and collective language.
“These findings indicate that awe-inspiring astronomical events such as a total solar eclipse can elicit trends – ranging from greater attention to one’s groups to motivations to care for and affiliate with others – vital to the collective life,” the researchers said.
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While the study still has its limitations, it’s still an exciting insight into how humans forge collective feelings and relationships during such cosmic events.
What do you think of these unusual findings? Let us know in the comments below. For more in the world of Technology and Sciencekeep reading Indiatimes.com.
Manis, E. (2022, September 21). A solar eclipse can promote psychological tendencies essential to collective life, study finds. PsyPost. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from https://www.psypost.org/2022/09/a-solar-eclipse-can-promote-psychological-tendencies-that-are-vital-to-collective-life-study-finds- 63936