Humility Compensates for Low Mental Ability

Among students with low mental ability, those who were rated by others as highly humble scored about 9% higher on performance measures over a 10-week team task than those who were seen as not humble. Humility’s performance-boosting effect was much less pronounced for highly intelligent people, says a team led by Bradley P. Owens of the State University of New York at Buffalo. The compensatory power of humility for those with low mental ability is probably due to humble people’s teachability, which is a result of their willingness to honestly understand their weaknesses, the researchers say.

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