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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Humility facilitates higher self-control

Eddie M.W. Tong, Kenny W.T. Tan, Agapera A.B. Chor, E. P.S. Koh, J. S.Y. Lee, R. W.Y. Tan
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume 62, January 2016, Pages 30–39


Prior evidence and existing theories imply that humility engenders intra- and inter-personal attributes that facilitate self-regulatory abilities. Four experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that humility predicts enhanced self-control. Participants who recalled humility experiences were found to be better able at sustaining their physical stamina in a handgrip task (Studies 1 and 4), resisting indulgence in chocolates (Study 2), and persevering in a frustrating tracing task (Study 3) than those who recalled neutral experiences. Studies 3 and 4 demonstrated that the effect of humility was distinct from that of self-esteem, which did not affect self-control. Study 2 ruled out two alternative hypotheses concerning achievement and compliance motives. We discuss how the findings might relate to outcomes associated with humility as evidenced in past studies.

The study can be found here.