We outline an evolutionary-embodied-epistemic (EEE) account of intellectual arrogance (IA), proposing that people psychologically experience their important beliefs as valued possessions – mental materialism – that they must fight to keep – ideological territoriality – thereby disposing them toward IA. Nonetheless, IA should still vary, being higher among people taking a hostile and domineering epistemic stance (rejecting reality, resisting evidence) than among those taking an open and deferential one (embracing reality, respecting evidence). Such variations can be predicted from people’s standing on the communion-agency circumplex at multiple levels of analysis (i.e. from their social inclusion and status; dispositional warmth and competence; and behavioral amiability and assertiveness). Using pre-validated indices of mental materialism and ideological territoriality, and an argument evaluation task permitting the quantification of rational objectivity and egotistical bias, we obtained consistent correlational evidence that, as hypothesized, IA is the highest when agency is high and communion low, validating the EEE account.
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