A recent study has suggested that people, who think they know it all, or at least, a lot, may be on to something.
The Baylor University finding was a surprise to researchers, who had theorized that ‘intellectual humility’ — having an accurate or moderate view of one’s intelligence and being open to criticism and ideas — would correlate with grades.
But being full of oneself when it came to rating one’s intellectual arrogance — an exaggerated view of intellectual ability and knowledge — instead generally predicted academic achievement, especially on individual course work, according to the study.
One possibility is that people who view themselves as intellectually arrogant know what they know and that translates to increases in academic performance, said researcher Wade C. Rowatt.
The findings have implications for education, the workplace and scientific research, scholars said.
The study also revealed that when rating themselves on a ‘humble-ometer,’ people generally did not see themselves as others see them. Accordingly, nearly everyone may agree that someone like, say, Donald Trump is egotistical — except Donald Trump.
The study showed that with group projects, other team members gave better evaluations to those they viewed as humble. It further found that people can agree about whether another person is intellectually humble or intellectually arrogant, but it takes time.
Lead author Benjamin R. Meagher said that if people are forming opinions about extraversion and someone talks a lot, it’s easy to draw consensus about that person, but it’s more challenging for groups to recognize what behavior reveals another person’s humility, as opposed to simply being shy or unsure.
The research is published in the Journal of Research in Personality.