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A note on intellectual humility

Psychologists have recently linked intellectual humility to a host of benefits: showing more persistence in the face of failure, holding less polarized beliefs and attitudes, and being received as warm and friendly by others. But what does it take to be intellectually humble—and how do you know if you already are?

The old joke about humility —that “it’s my greatest quality”—speaks to the difficulty in knowing how humble you actually are. It’s a paradox: If you’re walking around thinking you’re humbler than most people, then chances are good that you’re not. For precisely that reason, a trait like humility presents special problems in measurement for scientists and lay people alike. Even so, there are ways for you to try to understand how intellectually humble you are—and to cultivate this quality within yourself.

Even though it is hard for us to self-assess if we are humble, attached is a brief quiz. This quiz, which is drawn from three scientifically validated scales, aims to measure your intellectual humility. Quizzes like this one are not the last word on your abilities. Instead, take them as an invitation to reflect on your strengths and on areas where you might improve: Intellectual Humility Quiz Results (

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