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The Table Video

Peter C. Hill

Is It Good to Be Humble? Empirical Research on Dispositional & Intellectual Humility - Peter Hill

Professor of Psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University
June 13, 2017

I will first discuss humility as a broad dispositional virtue, a characteristic studied in considerably greater detail by psychologists than humility as an intellectual virtue (IH). After reviewing the conceptual and empirical research on dispositional humility, I will consider the extent to which IH, as conceived by researchers in psychology, is independent of dispositional humility and will review the rather scant IH empirical literature to date. Throughout this presentation I will evaluate the conceptual and empirical research by psychologists on humility, both dispositional and intellectual, from a philosophical and theological perspective.


For several reasons, I really appreciated what Jason had to say and how he said it, and the direction that he took his talk. Because it will I think complement rather nicely the direction that I intend to take with this particular talk which is quite different including my presentation mode. Because I’m talking largely to people who are outside of my discipline and I’m trying to cross disciplines here, I’m going to hold myself a little bit closer to a script. And I’ll try not to read it as much as speak it to you.

But I have provided some notes that are being handed out that might help you follow along with me. Before I get started though, I do, like so many of us, just want to express our thanks to the John Templeton Foundation not only for funding the Center for Christian Thought, but also in my case because they have provided support for me on a couple of projects. And in particular, my preparation for this talk has been supported by a John Templeton grant.

So I do appreciate that so much. Also, thanks to the folks who are at the CCT and for a lot of the interaction that we’ve had over the past year, both the group that was here in this past fall and the group that’s currently here this semester. Let me say upfront that I wanna make the case to you that I’m brilliant, okay? [audience laughing] And I’m gonna document just how brilliant I am by a recent article that I read in the Business Insider.

Now this happens to be a publication that I know nothing about, but I found it. Actually, my wife found it on the web. And it’s entitled A Psychologist Says That a Disorganized Email Box Can Be a Sign of Intelligence. [audience laughing] So defined as the ratio between the number of inbox messages. By the way, I brought this with me. But you know how you get that number of inbox messages that are there.

As a ratio between the number of inbox messages, and mine read just the other day 7,054, to the number of messages filed as stored or important. And mine read zero in both cases. I then decided that a disorganized email box is, since I so well qualify, a sure sign of intelligence. And the researcher claims that while an overflowing email box could mean one is overwhelmed or disengaged, it could also mean that organizing your emails just simply isn’t important enough to achieve your goals. And that is a sign of intelligence. [audience laughing]

Boy, I feel better after reading that article. After all, I want to see myself as an intelligent person and will gladly accept any confirming evidence whatsoever. Now if it sounds like I could be just a bit biased in my self-diagnosis, then not only are you right, but also I’m in good company. Social psychology has long documented just numerous ways the extent to which people need to view themselves positively.

And this is often done with a form of self-enhancement. So some of the trendy observations, and they’re noted in the handout there for you, include the rather well documented better-than-average effects that says we really suffer not from an inferiority complex, but from a superiority complex in that the desire to have an accurate self-perception only moderates a much weightier desire to see ourselves in a positive way, to have a positive self-perception.

And so, even hospitalized patients who are hospitalized because they’ve been involved in a car accident will rank themselves as a better-than-average driver. That’s empirically established. [audience laughing] Other self-enhancing tendencies include the overconfidence effect, the tendency to be more confident, Jason alluded to this in his talk, the tendency to be overconfident rather than accurate in our judgments. Or the false consensus effect, the overestimation regarding how much others agree with our opinions or ideas.

Certainly, most of us think that we are in the mainstream with most of our thinking. And we might have a tendency to overestimate that. Or the spotlight effect, the overestimated belief that we are the center of other’s attention. This is like the junior high school student who can’t go to school that day ’cause they’ve got a zit on their face and they think everybody is going to notice it. So we also create all sorts of means by which we can justify such perceptions.

Often, we use a self-selection process of indicators of our above average status. For instance, the gifted athlete who might think physical prowess is really the only important thing in life. Or sometimes, we might attribute external causes for our failure. We can come up with reasons why we didn’t do so well, but we certainly want to give ourselves credit when we succeed. So in keeping with the conference theme, my purpose here is to focus on intellectual humility.

And the theme on intellectual virtue, I will focus specifically, I should say, on intellectual humility. And as a psychologist, I want to bring an empirical focus to this discussion. Not that I think that this will necessarily trump the other epistemologically varied approaches to understanding. But simply because what little we do know about humility and intellectual humility in particular; and we know, I’ll point out, much less about intellectual humility than we at least think we know about humility in general.

But what I would like to suggest is that I think this can serve to complement much of the other discussions that we’ll have during this two-day conference. It does place me in a bit of a quandary, however, by doing so. First of all, there is not much to report specifically on intellectual humility. Now this is changing rapidly. And I think in just maybe another year or two, largely due to the resources of the John Templeton Foundation, we should start seeing more empirical research on the topic.

In fact in just a few days, I’ll be attending a conference over on Catalina Island. There’s gonna be I think somewhere around 100 to 125 scholars who will be attending, of all sorts, including some empirical researchers. And they intend I believe in that conference the purpose of the conference is for some of these scholars, including the empirical researchers, to present some of their initial findings. Now we do think we know more on humility in general. And by that, I’m speaking about it as a moral virtue or as a broad dispositional characteristic.

So I wanna draw somewhat on that literature. And I do so with the realization of some of the points that Jason brought out early in his presentation. And that is that it’s still somewhat an open case whether or not we should think of intellectual humility as a subset of a broader dispositional characteristic or should we think of it as somehow a special case. I’m going to take the approach here, and I think it just from an empirical standpoint, not so much a standpoint on content, but from an empirical standpoint, that it might be wise to think of it even if it turns out not to be this way. It might be wise to think of it as a subset. Why?

Because we can generate a lot of interesting hypotheses and ideas simply to test, simply on the basis on some of the research that has been conducted on humility as a broad general dispositional characteristic. We also have, and I’m not intending to report in detail about some of our own research findings, but we have developed a couple of measures: one of intellectual humility and one of dispositional humility here as part of a research team that’s located here at the Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola.

And we have found that the two measures which we really tried to keep very independent of each other, that the two measures correlate about .61. Now that’s a fairly strong correlation. They don’t correlate perfectly, not 1.0. They correlate .61 which suggests that there is a considerable degree of overlap, but not entire overlap between the two constructs. So I’m going to turn now a little bit more to some of the established research on humility as a broad dispositional construct before investigating specifically intellectual humility.

Some of the conceptual issues with regards to general humility, and that’s what Howell probably referred to as just general humility, is what I’ll first deal with. And Steven Pardue, who is one of this year’s CCT fellows, has argued that it’s a forgotten virtue, and that it was once a keystone for ordering the moral and intellectual life in the Christian tradition but seems to have become lost, maybe even more so than some of the other virtues. Some of its stature has been lost in contemporary theology and philosophy.

And I would say that it wasn’t lost in psychology because it never has had any stature in psychology in part because we are a fairly new discipline. I do think that psychologists have avoided the topic for several reasons. But two in particular come to mind. First, it is that I think they have avoided the construct because of its religious and moralistic overtones. And that is perceived to run contrary to psychology’s adherence to a science. I think it’s a distinction that’s ill-founded, but nevertheless may be one that helps explain why humility has not been a topic of much interest to psychologists.

Second, humility has been a notoriously difficult concept to measure, especially given our reliance on self-report measures. For example, if humility is a desirable characteristic, and we do have evidence that says most people think it is a good characteristic, a desirable characteristic to have, then how does the truly humble person report humility. Now given that measurement is key to scientific progress, it is important that good measures be developed relatively early in a research program, though of course, only after considerable work has been done on initial conceptual development.

But empirical work is part of that conceptual development process. And without good measures, advancement, certainly empirically but also I believe conceptually, is likely to to be stymied. It now appears I think, at least most psychologists, or many psychologists, I shouldn’t say most, I don’t know that. Many psychologists now think that humility’s tight conceptual nod is starting to loosen to the point that we can leap forward with some systematic empirical research investigations. Now I think most of us recognize that a folk understanding of humility, or what we believe is a folk understanding of humility, is misguided.

The idea that somehow reflecting low self-esteem and a tendency to self-deprecate, often summed up with a quotation from C.S. Lewis as “pretty people trying to believe they’re ugly “and clever men trying to believe they are fools,” is misguided. But one thing that’s interesting is I haven’t seen any research that that’s what most people think. I don’t think anybody has tested that. We have tried to test it. We did it very informally just with a small sample of individuals from the community largely here in the La Mirada and Norwalk and Whittier area.

And we found that indeed it was largely a low socioeconomic group that we were talking to, we ran interviews with. I believe we had 12 interviews. And we found that indeed humility was easily confused with humiliation. And that understanding humility in any other way was quite foreign to the way that they think about the concept. But of course, scholars have long questioned this caricature. And June Tangney was one of the first of the psychologists.

And it just shows you how slow psychologists have been in coming around to this discussion. Because she did this initially in a publication in 2000. It was revised in 2009 where she delineated six components that psychologists should consider in conceptualizing humility. And they’re provided there on your handout: a willingness to see the self accurately; an accurate perspective of one’s place in the world; an ability to acknowledge personal mistakes and limitations; openness; low self-focus; and appreciation of the value of all things. Now her work has had quite a bit of heuristic value, and psychologists have looked at many of those dimensions.

And it appears based upon much of the empirical work that has been done especially since 2000, but even some of it since 2009, that there seems to be at an empirical level at least, but somewhat maybe at a conceptual level that at its conceptual core, humility as a psychological construct should minimally include three things.

Number one, the willingness to see oneself accurately which includes the identification of both limits but also strengths. Number two, an other-oriented rather than self-focused interpersonal stance that appreciates others’ strengths and contributions. Sometimes, that’s referred to as a self-forgetfulness, but I think that’s a misunderstood concept. And I’ll touch on that a little bit later. And number three, a non-defensive willingness to learn from others. And of course, humility can be induced by situational factors such as a poor performance on an exam. Last summer, I went to for the first time in my life to Zion and Bryce National Parks. And I had that sense of being humbled when I could look out upon that beautiful landscape.

And sometimes, I think for many of us immersion in another culture is a situational factor where we see sometimes ourselves in a different light. I think all of those are important situational factors, but our focus primarily here is going to be on humility as a dispositional factor, particularly as it relates as an intellectual virtue. But again, I want to just quickly, and I think I’ve highlighted these in the handout, some of the key empirical findings. And I want to recognize upfront, I agree that Bob Roberts has been very very influential in my own thinking of recognizing how virtues have to be specified against a worldview background. And quite honestly, psychologists don’t think about that as much as they should.

And so, much of the research here is being conducted in the context of a worldview background that in some cases will be quite different. Not in all cases, but in some cases will be quite different than say for instance a theistic or more specifically a Christian worldview. But keeping that in mind, I still want to just go over what some of these findings suggest. First of all, religiousness and humility are positively correlated.

We shouldn’t be surprised by that given that most religions promote humility as a virtue. However, certain aspects of religion, such as adherence to religious dogma, may moderate this relationship. Humility has also been shown to negatively predict religious or spiritual struggle. Humility has also been linked with many other virtues or virtue-related behavior, particularly in the social domain, including the tendency to forgive; including trying to be more helpful, honest; being more thankful; gratitude; generosity; and commitment to social justice. Humble people also tend to be more cooperative.

And I think this speaks to the part of this conference that deals with civil discourse. And again, I haven’t emphasized or won’t emphasize so much that part of this conference theme, so I’m thankful that Jason did. But I do think there are implications here for civil discourse in that we tend not only to be, humble people not only tend to be more cooperative, but are also more appreciative of others’ strengths, and hence, are viewed by others as being kinder and more likable. There’s actually some research that shows that most people like people who are humble. Dispositional humility is also related to secure attachment. In addition, humble individuals report a greater sense of feeling accepted by others, so lower mistrust of others, and a tendency to have more positive experiences than non-humble individuals when they receive something: for instance a gift.

They seem to be able to receive a gift more easily than less humble individuals. It should be noted that most of these findings are based on self-reports of humility as well as, in most cases, the self-reports of the related behavior whatever it might be. Humility has also been associated with success in a variety of areas, the next bulletin point there in your handout, particularly business management. For example, in one study, they found that good listening skills, being transparent about one’s own limitations, and the ability to express appreciation of others’ strengths and contributions, all characteristics of individuals who score high on a humility measure that was used in that study, are more effective than their less humble counterparts in fostering employee work engagement.

People were more engaged when their boss seemed to display these characteristics. Humble individuals, next bulletin point, also experience fewer negative psychological symptoms and actually report better health though these are topics that have received little empirical attention. In fact, the couple of studies, I didn’t put the references on the handout, but I only know of two studies that have really dealt specifically with this connection. Now it might seem a little strange. Why would humble people be any healthier than non-humble people? Why might they have more especially physical health? It might be a little bit easier to understand the connection with mental health.

And so, the humility/health connection I think is an interesting one and a provocative one. And it might be best explained by some of the factors that are often associated with humility such as gratitude and forgiveness which we know have been linked with both better mental health and physical health. It appears that humility plays an important mediating role between the tendency to forgive and health. And since humility includes an element of being open to others as well as having positive experience when receiving something from others, gratitude and humility may be reciprocally related. And we know that the more gratitude a person experiences, often the better especially mental health that they report.

So it’s gonna be interesting to see if humility plays a similar role in unpacking a gratitude/health connection as it does with forgiveness and health. So I think after this, in one sense I think there is enough of an empirical case that can be made now to say that humility promotes human flourishing, that it’s good to be humble. But what about intellectual humility? Intellectual humility applies the conceptualization of humility to our systemic issues and has drawn recent interest among philosophers in particular as an intellectual virtue.

In the context of virtue epistemology, which focuses on the processes by which beliefs are formed, the question has arisen among philosophers regarding the extent to which intellectual virtues such as intellectual humility are necessary to the foundation and advancement of knowledge. So in a yet to be published paper by Dennis Whitcomb, Jason Baehr is a co-author on that. Heather Battaly, is Heather here? She’s not here, okay. She’s locally a faculty member over at Cal State Fullerton. Dan Howard-Snyder. They discussed several different ways to conceptualize intellectual humility. One is as an underestimation of strengths. Julia Driver kind of hinted at this position in her work on modesty back in, what was that, the 1990s I think.

That’s one position. An accurate estimation of strengths is a second position. Owen Flanagan has purposed that position. Is holding proper beliefs about an epistemic status of one’s beliefs? In other words, it’s an honest assessment of how much firmness the belief merits. And there have been a few individuals who have held to that position. Has a low concern for status or entitlement, especially in contrast to an intrinsic concern for knowledge. And that’s a position of Roberts and Wood. And then as owning one’s intellectual limitations.

And that seems to be the position favored by the authors themselves: Whitcomb et al. I’m not here to try to get into those [audience member coughs], in those nuances. I’m wanna leave that up to people who are more capable of dealing with that within the discipline of philosophy. And I think that’s gonna be perhaps a topic that will be discussed over these next two days. But I do want to think about how this plays out psychologically. One common psychological element to each of these positions is that intellectual humility can be thought of in terms of motivation.

This is perhaps best identified in the Roberts and Wood perspective through its emphasis on a high concern for knowledge and its various attributes and a low concern for status or self-importance. However, the other positions include a motivational component as well. A concern for accurate knowledge requires that a person be aware of and willing to acknowledge the limitations of his or her beliefs, knowledge, or system of thinking. And I think out of this, there’s really three components that are listed there on your handout that could be identified, three important components of intellectual humility. I’m operating from a larger script here, and I have it in this. But I don’t think I included on the handout that these are not my ideas.

Those actually came from a working group on the campus at Princeton University about five years ago. And it was a mixed group of theologians, philosophers, psychologists that got together, and they arrived at these three guiding principles. One, that it should be a willingness, and again, keep the motivational component in mind.

Notice the word willingness for each of these, a willingness to hold beliefs tentatively to the extent that one is willing to revise one’s perspective given a convincing reason to do so; a willingness to undertake a critical scrutiny of one’s perspective including a balanced consideration, know some of these names from what Jason was talking about, of evidence that both supports and refutes one’s perspective; and a willingness to acknowledge that equally sincere, capable, and knowledgeable individuals may reasonably hold different views. Now staying within a motivational framework, it seems that underlying this entire discussion is a lack of defensiveness that nourishes open-mindedness and cognitive flexibility.

Just as with humility in general, acceptance of intellectual limits can foster an attitude by which one is willing to seek new knowledge and accept feedback including critical feedback from others. The idea of arguing to learn versus just arguing to win. The intellectually humble person is able to maintain his or her perspective while simultaneously respecting and valuing others’ views and learning from other views even when such views may be opposed to one’s own views. Intellectual defensiveness, on the other hand, I think can take two forms. The first and the most obvious form is in the direction of intellectual arrogance where the person believes that he has very little to learn or ignores his knowledge limits. Nor does this person seek knowledge for the sake of knowing or for the sake of the common good.

So any endeavors strongly driven by an affirmation of one’s intellectual biases are likely more prone to distortions that impede epistemic progress, especially given the presence of self-enhancement tendencies that I talked about at the beginning of this talk. Intellectual defensiveness, however, can also take another form, of intellectual servility, whereby the individual perhaps in a desire to promote social acceptance or avoid conflict readily defers to others without adequate consideration, and thus does not properly value his or her own views. Intellectual humility involves a balance therefore between intellectual arrogance and intellectual servility.

And I want to credit that team of philosophers: Dennis Whitcomb and Jason, Heather Battaly, Dan Howard-Snyder, who are part of the research grant that I’m working with and on for really making this point very clear to us psychologists. Because we hadn’t really thought about that balanced consideration. But such a balanced consideration that respects one’s own views while remaining open to the revision from others requires a certain level of what I’m going to call ego stability. Thus the notion that humility, whether intellectual or otherwise, is a self-forgetting. It applies I think more to one’s egoistic attachment to one’s epistemic beliefs rather than simply a low self-focus. Some psychologists have written a book.

It’s been published by the American Psychological Association. Interestingly, they didn’t call it Humility perhaps because of its moralistic overtones. They called it The Quiet Ego. And they were really talking about humility. And that was a term that was interspersed throughout the chapters of the book. But they put it this way, that “humility’s low self-focus “is a detached awareness where the subjective interpretation “of the present situation is not predicated “on how that situation makes one feel about oneself.”

That is: the person’s awareness is detached from egoistic appraisals of the situation. There is no reason, I can’t think of a reason to think that humble people should think about themselves less often or with less scrutiny including their station in life, their meaning system, their gifts, their liabilities, than those who are less humble. In fact, they might have to be thinking about it more often and with greater scrutiny. But rather a hallmark of humility is that the humble people do not fall prey to the idea that the world simply revolves around them, and the intellectual world revolves around what they think is important.

Before moving on to empirical considerations of intellectual humility, I want to add an obvious but perhaps overlooked observation. In most of the discussion of intellectual humility that I’ve read has quite understandably focused on communities where the intellectual domain is particularly salient, such as academia. But of course, it is an important attribute in contexts where the intellectual domain is perhaps not thought to be quite so salient; but nevertheless, where leaders emerge often on the basis of intellectual ability and prowess and where discourse, both civil and uncivil, often occurs.

An example might be found in the corporate structure of a workplace setting given that intellectually and otherwise gifted leaders have the potential to exert disproportionate influence over groups and over group ideas, which is sometimes I think necessary and justified. Such individuals may also undermine, either intentionally or perhaps more often unintentionally, group functioning by inhibiting group members’ intellectual contributions. I think that research I referred to earlier which says intellectual humility in the corporate setting might be particularly important because other people feel like when they’re around that leader, they do have some voice, they do have something to say, they do have something to contribute. Thus, intellectual humility may help foster a communal fair exchange of ideas which in turn may improve group functioning.

Okay, some empirical research, and I’m almost done. In contrast to humility in general, as I’ve pointed out, empirical research on intellectual humility is sparse. Though I think this will change in the near future. In fact, I’m aware of only three published articles, so drawing conclusions is premature. Two of the articles focus specifically on religious beliefs, and I’ll discuss those two here. One of ’em is an article, both of them were published just in 2014. Both of them were published in the Journal of Psychology and Theology which is specifically an evangelical publication. It’s housed here in the Rosemead School of Psychology. So at least it was published in the context of a theistic worldview.

And what these researchers found was that intellectual humility is associated with more favorable ratings of people and positions regarding the importance of religious service attendance that are contrary to one’s personal views. And this happened both ways: people who thought attending church is really important or people who thought it was totally unimportant. People who scored high on intellectual humility were more appreciative of the other argument, okay, the argument that it was basically arguments. It came out of a New York Times article where a person was pushing or speaking of the importance of church, in attending church.

Yes, in the New York Times, there was an opinion piece stating that. And then, they carefully construed an editorial that opposed that and presented both positions to participants in their study. People with intellectual humility show greater appreciation for the opposing point of view. But I think what was even more interesting were some ancillary findings that show a moderate curvilinear relationship between intellectual humility and strength of religious belief: both pro-religious and anti-religious. And so what they found was that people with stronger religious beliefs in both directions, both pro and anti-religious, show less intellectual humility as defined by four dimensions. And on the fourth page of the handout, you see diagrams or figures of those four dimensions. One was the awareness of fallibility of beliefs.

So on your y-axis on that diagram, that would be the degree of intellectual humility that was shown. On the x-axis from left to right, the left side would be the strong anti, sorry it’s not actually in the diagrams. It would be the strong anti-religious. As you go to the right, you’re increasing in favorable religious attitudes. Clear over to the far right would be people who were strong on being pro-religious. So the awareness of fallibility beliefs. Secondly, the discretion in asserting beliefs. Third, the comfort keeping beliefs private.

And fourth, the respect for other beliefs. And what was shown was that people with moderate religious beliefs showed the most intellectual humility. They showed the most intellectual humility. Comparing the strongly pro-religious and the strongly anti-religious groups, the strongly pro-religious demonstrated less intellectual humility than the strongly anti-religious as indicated by the downward linear slope with regard to awareness of fallibility of beliefs, discretion in asserting beliefs, and in comfort keeping beliefs private.

While the anti-religious showed a slightly less intellectual humility than the pro-religious as indicated by the ever so slight upward slope of the linear line in the fourth diagram that is the respect for others’ beliefs. So I think the most important point is the curvilinear relationship that’s found, that inverse u-shape, but also how far down do the two extreme groups go as indicated. And that’s what the linear line is giving you a sense of. McElroy found that intellectual humility, it’s another study, that intellectual humility was positively associated with trust. And I think this has important implications for civil discourse. Positively associated with trust, openness, and agreeableness; and it’s negatively correlated with neuroticism and the inability to forgive.

They also tested for the importance of, and this I think is fascinating and has huge implications, of perceived intellectual humility in a religious leader following a betrayal by that leader. And they found that perception of intellectual humility in the religious leader predicted the ability to overcome feelings of unforgiveness toward that leader. So to the extent that somebody could communicate an intellectual humility on their part, they were more likely to be forgiven. I’m speaking now of the religious leader who could communicate that. They were more likely to be forgiven than were people who did not communicate such a humility. All right, there is an important caveat that I wanna mention just ever so briefly, and then we’ll be done.

And earlier, I mentioned the five accounts of intellectual humility summarized by Whitcomb et al. And another CCT fellow this year, just last week I was privileged to sit in and hear him talk: Kent Dunnington. And he provides yet another alternative account, one that he believes better captures a Christian understanding of humility based on the theology of Augustine. He argues that there is an irreducibly theological dimension captured by Augustine, but somewhat missing in the other accounts that best frames intellectual humility for the theist. The full mark of intellectual humility for the theist is quite simply one’s intellectual dependence upon and submission to God. Now I mention this not out of some obligatory sense to slip in at the last moment a Christian account of our understanding of humility.

I also want to point out that this is still Dunnington’s work in progress. However, his point is to reiterate what has already been well articulated by Roberts and Wood, namely that a worldview background lurks behind the specification of a virtue. And we have evidence. Now I’m speaking of some of our own research. And unfortunately, it’s in a backhanded way that may support the importance of this worldview consideration. So we’ve developed two instruments: one on general humility, one on intellectual humility, based on secular samples that meet strong psychometric criteria of reliability and validity.

So we spent a lot of time this spring using those two instruments to run a very detailed experimental study with some of our undergrads here at Biola University. And we found that those instruments simply do not work. They do not get at the construct that we’re trying to get at. So I think we’re gonna have to develop yet another instrument that takes into account a more theistic worldview background.

So I’ve addressed many issues, but there’s been so many not addressed. I have not considered the liabilities of humility here. Nor have I mentioned more than in a passing the difficult issues of measuring humility which has been a major focus of my own work. I’ve also avoided some really sticky topics of how to discern even in oneself what’s genuine humility from an artificial humility. Can humility, like other virtues, be taught? I don’t know. I have concerns about that, whether we can have an explicit pursuit of humility, whether we can teach it explicitly. It might have to be a much more subtle approach.

The work ahead will be challenging. But I am amazed at how quickly an empirical literature has emerged that suggests that indeed humility, whether intellectual or otherwise, is a virtuous trait that will allow persons to function as they are supposed to function. It’s good to be humble. Thank you. [audience applauding]