Humility is Key To a Person's Helpfulness
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines humility as a quality or state of being humble; not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive.
Researchers at Baylor University has found a link between a person's willingness to help and his degree of humility.
Jordan LaBouff is a lecturer in psychology at the University of Maine and is the lead author of the study.He says, "The findings are surprising because in nearly 30 years of research on helping behavior, very few studies have shown any effect of personality variables on helping. The only other personality trait that has shown any effect is agreeableness, but we found that humility predicted helping over and above that."
The decision to help someone is not a consistent trait, however it is influenced by "temporary personal or situational factors such as time pressure, number of bystanders, momentary feelings of empathy or a person's own distress". Several factors influencing whether a person will help another person, it appears that on average, humble people are more helpful than egotistical or conceited ones.
Based on a study of three groups of college students, the reserach team noticed that humility was associated with the amount of time offered to help a student in need, especially when pressure to help was low.
Wade C. Rowatt, Ph.D, who co-authored the study says, "Our discovery here is that the understudied trait of humility predicts helpfulness. Important next steps will be to figure out whether humility can be cultivated and if humility is beneficial in other contexts, such as scientific and medical advancements or leadership development."