Investigating the relationship between induced awe and civic participation with 360° immersive videos

Chun Hey LAU

Research output: ThesisBachelor's Theses


Objective: After experiencing awe, people are more likely to consider collective benefits instead of individual interests since awe motivates individuals to recognize being part of a larger entity. Hence, this study tested whether awe enhances civic participation through a diminished self size, which extended on previous research about awe’s effect on prosocial behaviours.
Method: 60 undergraduate students from The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) participated in the present study. After viewing VR 360° immersive videos which induced awe or neutral emotion, participants were invited by the experimenter to join a volunteer program. This was a deception to test whether participants’ civic participation was enhanced after the emotion induction. Participants also completed other related scales for measuring their emotion, perceived self size and civic participation.
Results: Participants who experienced awe were significantly more willing to join the volunteer program, compared to the control group. However, the experimental group and the control group did not display significantly different perceived self size, social attitudes and civic engagement scale scores.
Conclusion: Results demonstrated that awe may enhance context-specific civic engagement but not social involvement. VR-induced awe may have an enhancing effect on the engagement of context-specific civic activities, rather than general civic activities. Moreover, VR awe experience may alter participants’ willingness to participate in civic activities through affecting behavioural intentions, instead of changing civic attitudes. However, VR awe does not necessarily produce a sense of self diminishment. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationBachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • HOU, Wai Kai 侯維佳, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Awe
  • Virtual reality
  • Emotions
  • Emotion induction
  • Civic participation
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (BSocSc(Psy))--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2021.


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