If there’s a thing I learnt in these few months of PhD is that time and patience are the keys. Sometimes it seems that you are on a roller coaster that does not stop going down at high speed, other times it moves up and down so fast that you are not able to perceive the difference.
Some other times it happens that you are going to lose yourself, and the reason why you are there. But if you learn to wait, stand up, and pay attention to the very important elements of your PhD, then you’ll restore yourself. PhD is an extremely fascinating and hard experience throwing you in a wild and vast ocean where you need to learn swimming as soon as possible. My research topic and my Professor Andrea Gaggioli, along with my unique colleagues resulted as the best support to do so.
Indeed, I think that not all the young researchers have clear in mind what their research topic should be, or if they know it, sometimes they are forced to ponder on this choice in order to support it and not only take it for granted, as if it was borrowed. In other words, we are somehow to challenge ourselves and we are called into question, so that we are thrown in a deep and unknown sea.
Actually, my sea is called “awe”, but my ocean’s name is “Transformative experience”. How can I study such a complex, multifaceted, and fleeting phenomenon just in three years?
First, I should understand where and in which way I can provide new and useful knowledge regarding this issue. Then, of course, I need to prioritize.
When you study such a captivating theme as “awe”, you don’t stop asking yourself “when will experience it again?” According to its definition, when your current mental frames cannot stand anymore what you are facing, because it is too much and too far from what you knew since that moment, it is time to change. After a deep feeling of bewilderment and confusion, you will discover that you’ve became yourself more than you have ever been.
Then I felt awe. Or, at least, I came up with what it seemed a good idea to me, extremely abrupt. For sure, something was clearer in my mind. My process would not be linear but “alternative”. I should address this fleeting experience by catching it from different perspectives.
Now I chose the one of experimental psychology answering the questions: “Which is the best way to induce awe?” Starting from the fact that the relationship between it and transformative experience is still not clear and that awe could be the key to better understand it.
I know there are several ways to induce it efficiently, but I argue that there’s still something missing regarding this phenomenon which we are not able to reproduce.
I hope that this will be the way to follow, and that I am swimming in the right sea..