Day 2 - Session 5
May 11, 11:15 am - 12:15 pm (EST/USA)
Awe & Technology

Presenters:

Alice Chirico, PhD

H. Anna T. van Limpt-Broers

Sean Goldy​

  • PhD Candidate in Social Psychology, University of California - Irvine

  • LinkedIn profile

Expert Panelists:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Wachter, Deputy Inspector

  • Commanding Officer, Health and Wellness Section, New York City Police Department (USA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irene Barath

  • Instructor (retired), Leadership Development Unit Team Leader, Resilience and Wellness Training Coordinator, Ontario Police College (Canada)

Peter Heck, Senior Sergeant 

  • Senior Sergeant, State Negotiator Coordinator, Special Response Group, Queensland Police Service (Australia)

  • Capability Advisor for Negotiation, Australia New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee  

Session Description

Experiencing Awe Through Virtual Reality

Alice Chirico, PhD

More information:

Awe yields the Overview Effect in educational settings

H. Anna T. van Limpt-Broers​, PhD

Awe is triggered by encountering a person, scene, or event that is much bigger or important than the self. It gives a need for accommodation, thus promoting inquiry. One awe-inspiring scene that is significantly vast is viewing planet Earth from space, not only instilling awe in astronauts, but also giving rise to feelings of self-transcendence, and a change of perspective and identity.

This is called the Overview Effect, which results in feelings of kinship with people across the globe, and a motivation to protect the environment. Only few have been able to actually experience it in real life. Yet, awe and the overview effect offer interesting opportunities for learning environments. The SpaceBuzz educational program brings awe and the overview effect to 11—year-olds by launching them into space using virtual reality.

Our research has demonstrated that children experience awe, and feelings similar to the Overview Effect after experiencing the virtual reality simulation, yielding learning gains.

More information:

The Social Effects of Awesome Celestial Events

Sean Goldy

What are the social effects of massive awe-inspiring events? In this talk, I use text analyses of Twitter data to explore how a collectively awe-inspiring event––the 2017 total solar eclipse––made individuals more kind, collective, and attuned to others. These findings point to the societal impacts of awe, and they raise important implications for individuals, organizations, and technological platforms trying to bring people together. 

More information:

BIOGRAPHIES

Alice Chirico, PhD

Alice Chirico, Ph.D., Chartered Psychologist, Singer, Postdoc researcher at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan, Advanced researcher at the ATNP-Lab, Italian Auxologico Institute of Milan. Her main research interest concerns the study and the design of complex experiences, e.g., awe, the sublime, optimal group and dyadic creativity, sensorimotor synchronization in HHI and HRI, and Transformative Experiences, through art and technologies. She is currently working on applying complex experiences in the treatment of depressive disorders and to fight school dropout.  

Email: Alice.Chirico@unicatt.it

Blog

Researchgate profile

Academic profile

H. Anna T. van Limpt-Broers​, PhD

Anna van Limpt - Broers, MSc is a PhD candidate at the Department of Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence at Tilburg University. She has a background in Industrial Design, and Human Computer Interaction, and has worked as an Interaction Designer for several years. Fields of interest also include virtual reality, social robotics, user research, and user centred design. The current topic of her PhD is on the effectiveness of virtual reality in primary school education.

Email: h.a.t.broers@tilburguniversity.edu 

LinkedIn profile

Researchgate profile

Sean Goldy

Sean Goldy is a Ph.D. candidate in social psychology at the University of California, Irvine, where he works with Drs. Paul Piff and Roxane Cohen Silver. He received his B.S. from the University of Georgia. Broadly, Sean's research focuses on experiences (e.g., self-transcendence) and emotions (e.g., awe) that impact social connection and well-being. To list a few projects, he has collaborated with the US Forest Service to investigate awe in nature, examined shared experiences of awe (e.g., awe felt with a partner or friend), and measured the impact of large-scale, collectively awe-inspiring events. 

Email: sgoldy@uci.edu

Mark Wachter, Deputy Inspector

Deputy Inspector Mark Wachter began his career in February 1992 as an Auxiliary Police Officer in the 104th Precinct, where he returned as the Commanding Officer in March, 2015.  His rapid ascent through the ranks is indicative of his determination, and in March, 2017 he was transferred to the Career Enhancement Division within the Personnel Bureau.  One of the many units under his purview was the Employee Assistance Unit, where under his leadership, many projects and initiatives came to fruition. 

In August, 2019 Deputy Inspector Wachter was transferred along with the Employee Assistance Unit to the newly established Health and Wellness Section, where he also oversees the Department Sports Team Liaison Unit and the Wellness Outreach and Support Unit.  There is now a Health and Wellness App on all 35,000 Department smartphones, allowing members to access resources at their fingertips.  On this app lists all the Department Peer Support members, a program launched in October, 2019, to ensure trained peers in commands are available to assist and proactively check in with fellow members of the service experiencing stressful or difficult moments in their professional or personal lives.   Along with a Wellness video series, 55,000 members were trained via TACTICS on the purpose of the Employee Assistance Unit.  Recently, the Employee Assistance Unit has doubled its staffing to ensure the needs of members throughout the five boroughs are addressed in a timely manner.  In partnership with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, over 10,000 uniformed and civilian members have been trained in Mental Health First Aid.   Deputy Inspector Wachter's tireless dedication to helping all members of the service has resulted in new and innovative methods to address overall wellness for the Department.

Irene Barath

Irene Barath is a former police officer having served for 15 years with a large municipal police service in Ontario, Canada in various front line and investigative operations. She has been an Instructor, Team Leader and Chief Instructor at various times over her 22 plus years at the Ontario Police College [OPC] in areas related to officer safety skills, criminal legislation and leadership. Throughout her career Irene has had opportunities to conduct innovative research as well as develop and facilitate training for international police executives as an FBI Leadership Fellow and Visiting Scholar. She currently focuses on subjects related to emotional intelligence, resilience and wellbeing, psychologically safe workplaces, positive psychology and progressive leadership principles. Irene is also a facilitator for the IACP Leadership in Police Organizations program and mental health training for first responders. Irene is very recently retired from the OPC [end of April] and is looking forward to what comes next.

Peter Heck, Senior Sergeant

Peter is a Senior Sergeant of the Queensland Police within Australia, he is the State Negotiator Coordinator and monitors and trains 126 negotiators within 15 districts across his jurisdiction.  He is also the national capability advisor to the department of Home Affairs (HA) in Canberra, within this role provides strategic, operational and training advice on national security issues for the implementation across the country.  Peter has been a police officer for over 30 years and a negotiator for 25 of those, in his current role as coordinator he has overseen over 2000 negotiator deployments.