Intellectual humility is associated with curiosity, thoroughness and courage

How far are you prepared to accept that you are in the wrong? A new study shows there are a lot of benefits to humility, even though its a rarity in these times of Trump and Brexit. To measure your own, simply answer the following question:

On a scale of 1 (not at all) to 5 (very much), to what extent do you accept that your beliefs and attitudes may be wrong?

If you said 4 or above, then you are above average in terms of intellectual humility (the mean score in an internet sample of 400 participants was around 3.75). This is good news. A study from Duke University in North Carolina found that intellectual humility is related to a large number of positive qualities, including curiosity, autonomy, attentiveness, carefulness and thoroughness, as well as courage and tenacity; qualities that are traditionally associated more with braggadocio than humility.

A follow-up study found that participants scoring high on intellectual humility gave more favourable ratings to both pro- and anti-religion essays, regardless of their own religious views. A second study found that intellectually humble participants were more willing to vote for politicians who changed their position on a particular issue.

If you said 3 or below, then you are lacking in intellectual humility. Have you ever thought about a career in politics?

A fully referenced version of this article is available at benambridge. com. Order Are You Smarter Than a Chimpanzee? by Ben Ambridge (Profile Books, 12.99) for 11.04 at

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Can you accept being in the wrong? Personality quiz | Ben Ambridge
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