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This is what makes people intellectually humble…

Some people are intellectually humble from others simply because they love learning. According to a study, the two clusters of humble traits - the social and intellectual - often come as a package deal for people who are "intellectually humble".

sex and relationships Updated: Dec 28, 2014 14:47 IST
In-a-global-economy-where-technological-change-is-constant-re-skilling-is-critical
In-a-global-economy-where-technological-change-is-constant-re-skilling-is-critical

Do you know why some people are intellectually humble from others? This is simply because they love learning so they spend time learning from other people.

According to a study, the two clusters of humble traits - the social and intellectual - often come as a package deal for people who are "intellectually humble".

"In many ways, this is the defining feature of 'intellectual humility' and what makes it distinct from general humility," said lead study author Peter Samuelson.

A psychologist at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, Samuelson embarked on a new voyage for academia: a bottom-up exploration of what it really means to be humble.

Samuelson teamed up with Brigham Young University psychologist Sam Hardy for this.

To carry out the study, Hardy utilised a statistical technique called multi-dimensional scaling that made sense of open-ended responses from the 350 study participants recruited from Amazon's "Mechanical Turk".

"This is more of a bottom-up approach; what do real people think about humility, what are the lay conceptions out there in the real world and not just what comes from the ivory tower," Hardy added.

Hardy's analysis found two clusters of traits that people use to explain humility.

Traits in the first cluster come from the social realm: sincere, honest, unselfish, thoughtful, mature, etc.

The second and more unique cluster surrounds the concept of learning: curious, bright, logical and aware.

"Some of the participants showed unique aspects of intellectual humility: curiosity, love of learning, willingness to learn from others," the authors said.

The study appeared in The Journal of Positive Psychology.