Humble people are more helpful

Some personality types are more generous than others, with humble people more willing to lend a helping hand than their arrogant counterparts, new research suggests.

Humble people may be more down to earth than arrogant people, but that doesn’t mean they think poorly of themselves. “In fact, rather than being insecure or reserved, humble people seem to be characterized by an accurate view of themselves, understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and comfort[able] with them,” lead researcher Jordan LaBouff, of the University of Maine, told LiveScience.

The study, published online this week in the Journal of Positive Psychology, adds to past research on the positive side of humility. For instance, a study to be published in the Academy of Management Journal, found that humble people make more effective and better-liked leaders than those who wear their achievements on their sleeves.

Even so, very few studies have shown any effect of personality on helpfulness, said LaBouff, a lecturer in psychology. “The only other personality trait that has shown any effect [on helping behavior] is agreeableness, but we found that humility predicted helping over and above that, ” said LaBouff, who collaborated on the study while a doctoral student at Baylor University.


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