Degree Name

BS

Department

Psychology

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date

2019-03-08

Publication Date

2019-03-18

First Faculty Advisor

Dianne Tice

First Faculty Reader

Robert Ridge

Honors Coordinator

Bruce Brown

Keywords

Humility, Social cognition, Social psychology, Self, Judgment, Implicit theories

Abstract

Past research on humility has focused largely on describing the what of humility, but has made little headway in terms of explaining the why of humility. In describing humility, psychological research has accrued evidence suggesting that humble people are more prosocial and characterized by low self-focus. One group of researchers has even described humility as the core value that “binds society together” (Worthington et al., 2017, p. 3). Understanding why humble people act differently may help provide insight into the essence of humility and what factors can help solve important social issues and, indeed, “bind society together”. One reason why humble people may act differently than less humble people is that they see the world through different “lenses”—they perceive and interpret how they relate to others and the world around them differently, and subsequently interact with them differently. In the present research I seek to explore this possibility by asking, “Do humble people see the world differently than non-humble people? Do they interpret situations differently, and thus react differently?” I examine the social cognition, or “lenses”, that may help explain the ways in which humble people subsequently react and behave. Results and implications of three types of social cognition for humble behavior—patterns of relational judgment, implicit theories, and patterns of value judgment—are discussed.

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