Is Humility the Greatest Virtue?

New psychological research shows that humility is strongly associated with a host of positive virtues, including maintaining friendships, having good work habits and being generous. 

What's the Latest Development?


New psychological research shows a clear link between humility, as a personality characteristic, and helping, an action one does for the benefit of others. In an experiment at the University of Maine, 117 students were given questionnaires that evaluated their personalities and determined their level of civic engagement. "The researchers found that of all the personality traits measured, humility was the most strongly linked with helpfulness." Researchers also conducted an implicit association test, "which measures people’s unconscious attitudes by examining their reaction time in certain word tasks."

What's the Big Idea?

Researchers discovered that humility is strongly associated with a host of positive values, including reliable friendship, good working habits and generosity. Evolutionary psychologists say there's good reason for that: "Humble people will be more helpful to the group because a trait that involves subsuming one’s own needs to those of others is only likely to be preserved in a species in which cooperation is necessary for survival." Humans, who generally require the help of others in thriving or raising children, are probably one such species.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less