Obama evokes ‘new emotion’ – ‘Elevation’

TheStar.com | Mind & Mood | New emotion dubbed 'elevation'.

 Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley last week successfully teased the uplifting emotion, stimulating the vagus nerve, from lab subjects after playing them Barack Obama's victory speech. The subjects reported "a feeling of spreading, liquid warmth in the chest and a lump in the throat." Past attempts to elicit the emotion failed. Vistas of the Grand Canyon didn't cut it. Neither did reading poetry to test subjects.

Powerful moments of elevation "push a mental reset button, wiping out feelings of cynicism" and replacing them with hope, optimism and moral inspiration, says Jonathan Haidt, the psychologist who coined the term.

Later in the same article, Haidt says something else that caught my eye:

"Watching Obama," Haidt says, "people feel like they're being called to their higher, better selves."

At last…

(thanks to Sandy McMullen for bringing this to my attention)

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