In the era of social media and rolling news there’s a constant pressure to be in the know, always on hand with an aperçus or two. Today intellectual humility therefore feels more important than ever—having the insight and honesty to hold your hands up and say you’re ignorant or inexpert about an issue.
Psychologists are responding by taking an increasing interest in intellectual humility, including investigating its consequences for learning and the thinking styles that support it. For a new paper in The Journal of Positive Psychology a team led by Elizabeth Krumrei-Mancuso have continued this endeavor, showing, among other things, that intellectual humility correlates with superior general knowledge. This is a logical outcome because, as the researchers write, “simply put, learning requires the humility to realize one has something to learn.”