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Moral elevation is a prosocial emotional state that is triggered by witnessing or learning of the altruistic behavior of other people (Haidt, 2003; Algoe & Haidt, 2009). It has been considered as part of the awe-family of feeling states (Keltner & Haidt, 2003), and as an other-praising emotion (Haidt, 2003). Although he did not use the term Elevation, Thomas Jefferson provided a succinct description of this emotion: When any ... act of charity or of gratitude, for instance, is presented either to our sight or imagination, we are deeply impressed with its beauty and feel a strong desire in ourselves of doing charitable and grateful acts also. (Jefferson, 1771/1975, p.350) Elevation can promote altruism. A study conducted by Schnall, Roper, and Fessler (2010) found women who watched an elevation-inducing film clip were more willing to help in an additional, unpaid study than those who watched a nature film or a comedy clip. Multiple studies associated specific feelings and cognitions with elevation, including being moved, uplifted, being optimistic about humanity, having warm feelings in the chest, wanting to help others, and wanting to be a better person (Algoe & Haidt, 2009; Schnall et al., 2010; Silver & Haidt, 2008). The emotional experience of elevation also has physiological correlates. Silvers and Haidt (2008) presented videos to induce either elevation or amusement to nursing mothers, and the mothers in the elevation condition secreted significantly more milk and reported more tears/crying and chills on skin. The underlying mechanisms underlying these physiological responses were not clear, but one likely candidate is oxytocin. Nursing can result from oxytocins action as a hormone, while social engagement is mediated by oxytocinergic neural pathways (Porges, 2007). One of these key pathways includes the oxytocin receptors at the medullary nucleus ambiguus, which stimulate the vagus nerve and thereby link the central and parasympathetic nervous systems. Activity of the vagus nerve can be indexed through respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), a pattern of heart rate variability. Landis et al. (2009) assessed elevation as a personality trait, allowing it to be placed in context of the Big Five traits (Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness), spiritual transcendence, and altruism. The elevation scale presented with two factors, labeled Elevation I and Elevation II, which were correlated with each other. Elevation I correlated positively with Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, spiritual transcendence, and altruism, while Elevation II correlated only with spiritual transcendence. Hypotheses: Participants experiencing elevation will show a greater increase in RSA and exhibit helping behavior more so than those experiencing amusement. Elevation measured as a personality trait will be predictive of prosocial profiles and helping behavior.

Table 2 Materials and Methods College undergraduates were recruited through the Oregon State University Psychology Manipulation check measures and significant differences between conditions, determined by a Wilcoxon's rank-sum test. Departments online experiment management system in exchange for extra credit.
Personality trait self-report measures were administered online through Qualtrics (Qualtrics Labs Inc., Provo, UT). Items of each measure were presented on a five-point scale, with responses ranging from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. The names and origins of all scales are listed below in Table 1. In a later in-lab assessment period, a five-minute emotionally neutral video was shown to each participant, followed by either an elevating video or an amusing video. Screenshots from each emotion-inducing video are shown in Figure 1. Baseline RSA was calculated from the last two minutes of the neutral video, while emotion-induction RSA was calculated from the second to ninth minutes of the elevating or amusing video. Electrocardiography (ECG) signals were obtained using the BIOPAC MP150 hardware system (Biopac Systems Inc., Santa Barbara, CA). ECG signal was refined and RSA was calculated using CardioEdit and CardioBatch (Porges Lab, Brain-Body Center, University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, IL). Following the videos, a series of Likert-type manipulation-check items that asked participants about how they felt during the video were administered (Table 2). Videos and manipulation check items were presented with E-Prime 2.0 (Psychology Software Tools, Inc., Sharpsburg, PA). After the ECG was removed and immediately before debriefing, the experimenter spilled a plastic cup containing 20 pencils and pens in a manner that appeared unintentional, and then waited five seconds for the participant to respond before picking up the spilled items. If the participant assisted the experimenter, the number of items that the participant picked up was recorded as a helping task measure.
Higher mean in elevation Self-report item (N = 32) How much did this video affect you physically? x How much did this video affect you emotionally? x How interesting did you find this video? x Higher mean in elevation Self-report item (N = 32) Happiness/joy x Warmth x Inspiration x Admiration x Hope x Tenderness x Uplifted x Awe x Amused Sympathy/compassion x Optimistic about humanity x Wanted to help others x More open and loving towards people in general x More curious about the world x Higher mean in elevation Self-report item (N = 32) Eyes watering/tearing up x Lump in throat/choked up x Warm or expansive feelings in chest x Nausea x Heart beating faster x Change in breathing x Chills, goose bumps, or tingling on skin x Laughter Higher mean in amusement (N = 26) Z -1.09 -3.31 -1.15 p .276 < .001* .251

Wilcoxons rank-sum tests were performed on Likert-type manipulation check items to compare differences between elevation and amusement conditions, with a significance level of .05. The normal approximation Z-statistic and p-values are reported in Table 2 for each item. Paired t-tests revealed that, in the elevation condition, RSA during the emotion-induction (M = 6.64, SD = 0.97) was significantly higher than during baseline (M = 6.38, SD = 0.97), t(33) = 3.07, p = .004. In the amusement condition, there was no significant increase from baseline (M = 6.75, SD = 1.25) to emotion-induction (M = 6.82, SD = 1.16), t(29) = 1.24, p = .223. An independentsamples t-test showed the RSA increase during the elevation induction (M = 0.263, SD = 0.500) to be marginally larger than RSA increase in amusement induction (M = 0.071, SD = 0.314), t(56.281) = 1.86, p = .069. Means and 95% confidence intervals of RSA increase are illustrated in Figure 2. Helping behavior was not significantly different between conditions t(59) < 1. Spearman coefficients and significance levels of bivariate correlations between trait elevation factors and prosocial personality traits are indicated in Table 3.

Higher mean in amusement (N = 26)

Z -0.35 -1.70 -4.14 -4.19 -4.02 -2.94 -2.68 -1.81 3.08 -3.93 -3.07 -4.45 -4.25 0.00

p .723 .089 < .001* < .001* < .001* .003* .007* .070 .002* < .001* .002* < .001* < .001* 1.00

These findings suggest that the elevation may be mediated in part by oxytocinergic stimulation of the nucleus ambiguus and activation of the myelinated vagus nerve, as evidenced by RSA increases during elevation induction. The experimental induction of elevation did not increase helping behavior, although unlike previous studies, such as Schnall et al. (2010), the experimenter did not directly request assistance. Elevation Factor II of the trait measure did have a moderatelystrong correlation with helping. Trait elevation seems to be associated with prosocial profiles, though the two factors may relate to differing tendencies. In this study, the unique correlates of Elevation II were gratitude and helping behavior, while Elevation I was uniquely correlated with trust and love. Future studies will include measures of oxytocin and cortisol release and additional measures of neural function to further explore moral elevations involvement with the bodys social engagement and stress-response systems.

Higher mean in amusement (N = 26)

Figure 1. Screenshots from the experimental conditions elevation videos (left) and the control conditions amusement videos (right).

Z -5.02 -4.53 -2.76 -1.14 -1.75 -1.44 -3.45 3.58

p < .001* < .001* .006* .252 .081 .149 < .001* < .001*

Table 3. Spearman correlation coefficients for bivariate comparisons of Figure 2. Increase in respiratory sinus arrhythmia dispositional scales. Correlation sample sizes are in parentheses. (RSA) from baseline to levels during induction of Significant correlates unique to only one factor of elevation are bolded. elevation or amusement.
*p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001.
Mean Std. Dev. N 1. Elevation I

Algoe, S. B. & Haidt, J. (2009). Witnessing excellence in action: The other-praising emotions of elevation, gratitude, and admiration. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(2), 105-127. doi:10.1080/17439760802650519 Buss, A. H. & Perry, M. P. (1992). The aggression questionnaire. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 452-459. Costa, P. T. Jr. & McCrae, R. R. (1992). NEO PI-R professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources Haidt, J. (2003). The moral emotions. In R. J. Davidson, K. R. Scherer, & H. H. Goldsmith (Eds.), Handbook of affective sciences (pp. 852-870). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jefferson, T. (1975). Letter to Robert Skipwith. In M. D. Peterson (Ed.), The portable Thomas Jefferson. (pp. 349-351). New York: Penguin. Landis, S., Sherman, M. F., Piedmont, R. L., Kirkhart, M., Bike, D., & Rapp, E. (2009). Elevation and its incremental validity above and beyond the Five-Factor Model of Personality. Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(1), 71-84. doi:10.1080/17439760802399208 McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112-127. Porges, S. W. (2007). The polyvagal perspective. Biological Psychology, 74, 116-143. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2006.06.009 Schnall, S., Roper, J., & Fessler, D. M. T. (2010). Elevation leads to altruistic behavior. Psychological Science, 21(3), 315-320. doi:10.1177/0956797609359882 Shiota, M. N., Keltner, D., & John, O. P. (2006). Positive emotion dispositions differentially associated with big five personality and attachment style. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1(2), 61-71. doi:10.1080/17439760500510833 Silvers, J. A. & Haidt J. (2008). Moral elevation can induce nursing. Emotion, 8(2), 291-295. doi:10.1037/1528-3542.8.2.291 Yamagishi, T. & Yamagishi, M. (1994). Trust and commitment in the United States and Japan. Motivation and Emotion, 18(2), 129-166.

10 5.80 7.59 61 .19 (25) .47* (25) .10 (57) .24 (57) .25 (53) .33* (57) .12 (56) .11 (54) -.04 (55) -

9 2.67 0.66 100 -.49*** (54) -.27* (56) -.26** (99) -.44*** (99) -.21* (93) -.55*** (98) -.51*** (98) -.31** (95) -

8 4.14 0.61 98 .19 (51) .30* (53) .33** (97) .22* (97) .34*** (96) .39*** (96) .13 (96) -

7 3.34 0.58 106 .27* (56) -.17 (58) .24* (105) .69*** (105) .22* (95) .38*** (105) -

6 3.70 0.55 107 .44*** (55)

5 3.52 0.55 97 .32 (49)

4 3.21 0.70 108 .43*** (57) .13 (59)

3 4.02 0.58 108 .51*** (57)

2 3.41 0.78 60 .49*** (58)

1 3.65 0.54 58 -

Table 1. Names of self-report scales used in the current study, along with the common name of the construct measured and citation of article validating the scale.
Name of scale Trait Elevation Scale Dispositional Positive Emotion Scale NEO PI-R Agreeableness facet General Trust Index Gratitude Questionnaire-6 Buss-Perry Scale subscales Construct measured Elevation I & Elevation II Compassion, Love, & Awe Altruism Trust Gratitude Physical and verbal Aggression Source (Landis et al., 2009) (Shiota, Keltner, & John, 2006) (Costa & McCrae, 1992) (Yamagishi, T. & Yamagishi, M., 1994) (McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002) (Buss & Perry, 1992)

2. Elevation II 3. Compassion 4. Love 5. Awe 6. Altruism 7. Trust 8. Gratitude 9. Aggression 10. Helping task

.51*** .34 (57) (51)

.58*** (59) -

.51*** .28** .35*** (106) (96) (108) .44*** .21* (106) (96) .43*** (95) -

NSF CAREER Grant BCS-1151905 Fetzer Institute Oregon State University start-up and Provost funds Undergraduate research assistants of the Saturn Lab, for their dedication and commitment to quality research.