During these kinds of experiences, people can feel a sense of connection with other individuals, humankind, and even the entirety of existence.
from The Overview Effect (2016)
David B. Yaden Jr. (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma) is Professor of Language, Reading and Culture at the University of Arizona College of Education. Prior to his present position at UA, he held appointments at Emory University, the University of Houston, and the University of Southern California. He has been a principal investigator in the federally-funded Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) where he supervised the implementation of an early literacy curriculum for Spanish-speaking preschoolers in inner-city Los Angeles. His research interests and specializations include developmental issues in early childhood education, the acquisition of literacy and biliteracy in young children, family literacy, theories of reading disability and the application of complex adaptive systems theory to growth in reading and writing.
≈ 28 minutes
Viewing the Earth from space has often prompted astronauts to report overwhelming emotion and feelings of identification with humankind and the planet as a whole. In this article, we explore this experience, known as the “overview effect.” We examine astronaut accounts of the overview effect and suggest existing psychological constructs, such as awe and self-transcendent experience, that might contribute to a psychological understanding of this experience. We argue that the overview effect suggests directions for future research on altered states of consciousness in new contexts, with potential implications for better understanding well-being in isolated, confined, extreme (ICE) environments such as space flight.