Transcending Perspective: Exploring the Psychological Phenomenon of the Overview
The article has been authored by Lucie Campagnolo, CEO of Spacefounders, lending her expertise and insight to its content.
The Zephalto journey is designed for the traveler to experience the "overview effect", a phenomenon that describes the intense psychological response experienced by individuals who observe the Earth from above. This phenomenon, invented by astronaut Frank White in 1987 is often described as a transcendent, almost mystical experience by those who have undergone it.
The Overview Effect, "One of the deepest, most emotional experiences I have ever had" (Cernan, 1972)
Individuals who have experienced the Overview Effect have reported a range of intense emotional reactions, including an "explosion of awareness" and an "overwhelming sense of oneness and connectedness accompanied by an ecstasy; an epiphany"(Mitchell, 1971). Others have described it as "one of the deepest, most emotional experiences I have ever had" (Cernan, 1972) and a "removed yet incredibly connected" experience (Durance, 2003).
Commonalities amongst these experiences include an appreciation and heightened perception of beauty, unexpected and overwhelming emotions, and an increased sense of connection to other people and the Earth as a whole. Additionally, many individuals have used the lexical field of the human body to describe the Earth, describing it as a"vibrant living thing" (Liu, 2003) and "similar to synapses talking to each other" (Stott, 2009). Furthermore, the planet is often described as fragile or in danger and need a response from humankind. Many studies have yet to be conducted within the field of psychology to get a better understanding of its origin and its effects.
Zephalto aims to create a sense of connection and appreciation for the world around us.
Psychologists have characterized the Overview Effect as "awe" defined as an intense emotion resulting from the perception of something vast, as well as the subsequent need to cope with the experience and act on it. This emotion can occur in both natural and social contexts and overlaps with a range of states such as wonder, fear, and curiosity. While the Overview Effect may be partially explained as a response to the perceptual vastness of space, it also encompasses the symbolic significance of viewing the Earth as a whole. By inviting the traveler to explore the natural beauty of the planet from a new perspective, Zephalto aims to create a sense of connection and appreciation for the world around us, and to inspire a deeper understanding of our place in the universe.