Humble persons are more helpful than less humble persons: Evidence from three studies

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Humble persons are more helpful than less humble persons: Evidence from three studies

Connections between humility and other prosocial qualities led us to develop a humility–helpfulness hypothesis. In three studies, humble persons were more helpful than less humble persons. In Study 1, participants (n = 117) completed self-report measures of humility, the Big Five, and helpfulness. In Study 2, participants (n = 90) completed an implicit measure of humility and were presented with an unexpected opportunity to help someone in need. In Study 3, participants (n = 103) completed self-report and implicit measures of humility and were presented a similar helping opportunity. Humility and helpfulness correlated positively when personality and impression management were controlled. Humble participants helped more than did less humble participants even when agreeableness and desirable responding were statistically controlled. Further, implicit humility uniquely predicted helping behavior in an altruistic motivation condition.

Citation: 
The Journal of Positive Psychology Volume 7, Issue 1, 2012, 16-29

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