for people ages 40-90 (full criteria)
healthy people welcome
at San Francisco, California
study started
estimated completion:
Virginia E Sturm



Awe is a powerful positive emotion that offsets negative emotion and fosters prosocial behavior. This study examined the effects of awe on health and well-being in healthy older adults. Half of the participants took a weekly "awe walk" while the other half took a weekly walk with no further instructions.

Official Title

Effects of Awe on Mental Health and Well-Being


Awe fosters well-being and positive emotions that promote social relationships. Awe shifts attention from ourselves to the outside world and is associated with diminished self-focused attention. We aimed to increase awe in healthy older adults to test whether greater awe experience would lead to gains in other types of positive emotional experience and reductions in negative emotional experience.


Awe Compassion Anxiety Positive emotions Aging Awe Walk Control Walk


You can join if…

Open to people ages 40-90

  • Stable medical condition for 3 months prior to screening
  • Reliant informant with frequent contact with participant who is available to provide observations of participant
  • Fluent in English or Spanish
  • Age: 40 and above
  • Able to complete baseline assessments
  • Education or work history sufficient to exclude mental retardation
  • Physically acceptable for this study as confirmed by medical history, physical exam,neurological exam and clinical tests

You CAN'T join if...

  • Major memory concerns/diagnosed memory condition
  • Korsakoff encephalopathy
  • Active substance abuse
  • Brain tumor
  • Active neoplastic disease (skin tumors other than melanoma are not exclusionary)
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (untreated)
  • Sleep apnea
  • History of clinically significant stroke
  • Current evidence or history in the past 2 years of epilepsy, focal brain lesion,cancer, steroid use, or DSM-IV criteria for any major psychiatric disorder including psychosis, major depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol or substance abuse
  • Blindness, deafness, language difficulties or any other disability which may prevent the participant from participating or cooperating in the protocol


  • UCSF Memory and Aging Center
    San Francisco California 94158 United States


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Greater Good Science Center
Global Brain Health Institute
Lead Scientist
Virginia E Sturm
Study Type
Last Updated
May 25, 2018