Monday, October 5, 2015

Reason No. 32 to Hike with Your Children: More Generous Kids, New Research Says

A great view equates to generosity, research says.
Worried that your children may be acting a little selfish lately? Then take them to see the view from a mountain top or to enjoy an ocean sunset.

Seeing awe-inspiring scenery leads to more ethical decision-making in which people set aside emotions such as pride, according to a study by researchers at the University of California Berkeley and UC Irvine. Awe results in “a reduced sense of self importance relative to something larger and more powerful that they felt connected to,” Paul Piff, assistant professor of psychology and social behavior at UC Irvine, told The Washington Post.

You don't have to climb Mount Everest or go to the Pacific Ocean for these benefits, though, researchers said. A simple hike in a nearby woods might be all that's needed.

"Even these minute droplets remind you of the intricacy and complexity of natural world, and in so doing bring about feelings of awe and the small self,” Piff said. “And that is one of the remarkable qualities of awe. You don’t have to climb a huge mountain and take in a grand view to feel it.”

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.