Humility as intellectual virtue : assessment and uses of a limitations-owning perspective of intellectual humility.


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Advances in positive psychology research suggest that humility may extend beyond its current understanding, especially within the intellectual realm. While several scales have been created and used, there is a noticeable lack of theoretical foundation in discriminating between general humility and intellectual humility. Drawing on the Limitations-Owning perspective, which posits that intellectual humility is being aware of and owning one’s intellectual limitations while not being obsessed with them and consistently seeking out new information, a new scale is developed and tested. Using item response theory, it was determined that the Limitations-Owning Intellectual Humility Scale demonstrated good discrimination and test information about most individuals, but could benefit from fewer response options. It also demonstrated strong convergent and incremental validity, but did not show much of the expected discriminant validity. However, it did correlate with important social cognitions and behaviors related to being intellectual humble, including cognitive reflection, sensitivity to foils in overclaiming, and less intellectual dominance. Implications for future research in intellectual humility and possible applications for leadership are discussed.



Intellectual humility. Personality. Positive psychology.