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


Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

Intimacy and sexual desire in couples can be heightened by this practice

Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.

Pixabay
Sex & Relationships
  • Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
  • The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
  • Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Keep reading Show less

How 'dark horses' flip the script of success and happiness

What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.

Big Think Books

When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.

Keep reading Show less