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  • [ ♪ Intro ]

  • In September 2018, SpaceX announced that Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese entrepreneur,

  • would be taking the first private trip around the moon in the BFR, the giant rocket SpaceX is developing.

  • Not only that, but Maezawa is planning to give tickets for the ride to inspiring artists from all over the world,

  • who will collaborate on a project he's callingDear Moon.”

  • It could be launched as early as 2023, although it will probably be later than that.

  • That's one complicated art project, even taking it at face value.

  • But if astronauts' previous experiences are any indication,

  • this trip might change those artists in a profound, fundamental way.

  • It's called the overview effect: a major shift in awareness that happens to some astronauts

  • when they see the Earth from space.

  • We're only just starting to get an idea of how that shift affects people's thoughts and behaviors.

  • But it could teach us a lot about a part of the human psyche that we don't often get insights into.

  • The overview effect was first reported during the 1968 Apollo 8 mission,

  • which orbited the Moon, although it wasn't named until nearly twenty years later.

  • According to astronauts, it happens when you see the whole world hanging there in the void of space:

  • it gives you an overwhelming awareness of the way the world operates.

  • Apparently you gain a deep appreciation for the beauty and fragility of the planet,

  • as well as the pettiness of human conflict and meaninglessness of geographical borders,

  • among other things.

  • But it's more than just acknowledging the beauty of the view from all the way up there,

  • or even the complexities of humans as a species.

  • Astronauts have been quoted as saying that the overview effect made them feel more connected

  • to the planet and everyone living on it.

  • That all of a sudden, when they looked back at the Earth,

  • they could clearly appreciate they were part of something bigger.

  • Many are profoundly psychologically changed by the experience,

  • and come home determined to make a difference.

  • I'm sure we can all think of a few people we might like to experience this overview effect.

  • But it's only in the last decade or so that psychologists have begun to look into what exactly causes this massive cognitive shift,

  • and whether it's something humans can only experience in space

  • or if we can recreate something similar here on Earth.

  • In a 2016 paper published in the journal Psychology of Consciousness,

  • researchers analyzed astronauts' first-hand accounts of their experiences with the overview effect.

  • When the team started thinking about existing psychological theories

  • and frameworks from research here on Earth that might explain the phenomenon,

  • they suggested that it may be the work of two factors combined:

  • First, there's the psychological experience of awe.

  • And second, there's self-transcendence,

  • a term that usually refers to the highest level of human consciousness,

  • how we relate to the rest of our species and the rest of the universe.

  • Those are both things people experience on Earth, too,

  • but often when they show up in psychological research it's in the context of religious experiences.

  • You can see why both the overview effect and religious experiences might cause similar shifts

  • in someone's understanding of the universe and their place in it.

  • But you can't just, like, induce a religious experience in someone.

  • And even if you could, most people probably wouldn't want that,

  • regardless of their personal beliefs.

  • Still, there's something to be said for helping people feel more at one with the universe

  • and part of something bigger than themselves.

  • And it doesn't necessarily have to be tied to some spiritual awakening.

  • In some of the most recent research into the overview effect,

  • psychologists looked into how seeing the Earth from space affects astronauts' feelings of spirituality.

  • And it turns out the overview effect doesn't seem to cause spiritual changes in astronauts.

  • When the research team asked astronauts to rate the changes they experienced as a result of being in space,

  • spirituality was least changed of all the measured factors.

  • Instead, the most prominent changes were humanistic, feelings rooted in the value of human welfare,

  • governed more by practical and critical thinking than by a belief in a higher power.

  • Now, it's worth noting that many of these astronauts already had very high feelings of spirituality,

  • which might be why those feelings didn't change much.

  • Still, the results suggest that even though this combination of awe and self-transcendence

  • is usually caused by religious experiences for those stuck here on Earth, it may not have to be.

  • That could mean it's possible to take advantage of the overview effect in a therapeutic sense.

  • The research hasn't gotten that far yet, but there's a lot of potential here.

  • Experiencing these feelings on a grand scale can alter what's known as a self-schema,

  • a long-lasting, stable system of memories, beliefs, and knowledge that you hold about yourself.

  • When something comes along and challenges your place in the world,

  • your brain will either reject the challenge, or accomodate the new knowledge by changing your self-schema.

  • Adjusting a self-schema can have a massive effect on someone's identity and behavior,

  • and it's often emphasized in certain types of talk therapy.

  • In cognitive behavioral therapy, for example,

  • often the goal is to change unhelpful beliefs about the self, like “I am inherently bad,”

  • in favor of more positive, beneficial thoughts and behaviors.

  • It's no surprise, then, that astronauts who accommodate the newfound feeling that

  • they're part of a huge, complex, fragile ecosystem

  • suddenly feel motivated to make it a better place.

  • And by learning more about the overview effect and the emotions associated with it,

  • we might be able to use what we've learned from sending humans to space

  • to help people on Earth develop similarly profound, and healthier, understandings of themselves.

  • Either way, those artists participating in the Dear Moon project

  • may well come back with a very different view of their place in the world,

  • and might create some very different work as a result.

  • Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow Space!

  • We talk a lot about understanding the universe on this channel,

  • but the lens through which we view it can be just as important.

  • So if you're interested in learning about other strange inner workings of the human brain,

  • not just the ones that happen to people in space,

  • you might want to check out our sister channel SciShow Psych.

  • Just go to youtube.com/scishowpsych and subscribe!

  • [ ♪ Outro ]

[ ♪ Intro ]

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遨遊太空如何永遠改變你的思維方式? (How Going to Space Changes the Way You Think Forever)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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