Intellectual Humility and Arrogance and Their Relationship with Self-Awareness: A Longitudinal Analysis of Congruency Through Self/Other Evaluations
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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Character and leadership have long coupled to show benefits to organizations and their personnel. During the near century of modern leadership study, psychologists have focused on dozens of leader traits with an infusion of new traits of interest like general humility (GH) surfacing with the inception of the positive psychology movement. Over the past two decades, the benefits of GH to organizational success are well documented in folk and scholarly literature (Collins, 2001; Owens et al., 2011; Owens & Hekman, 2012; Owens et al., 2013a, 2015b, 2016c). Research in GH has garnered interest in related constructs like intellectual humility (IH) and contrasting intellectual arrogance (IA). The emergence of IH as a psychological construct of interest occurred only within the past 10 years. Because of this, much remains to learn about the trait and its components. The purpose of this dissertation is to empirically examine IH and IA and their relationship with self-awareness (SA), a theorized principal component of IH. To do this, a longitudinal analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between IH and IA with self-awareness using path analysis and linear latent growth analysis. Self-awareness is determined utilizing congruence-d to measure the congruence between self and other reports. For this study, self-awareness is defined in two variables of congruency. The first is between self and peer while the second is determined between self and the participant’s cadet chain of command (CoC) reports. In this paper, the theoretical conceptualizations and empirical research related to GH, IH, IA, and SA are discussed to framework theory, identify knowledge gaps and potential impact of IH in leader and organizational performance. To establish common understanding of the constructs themselves and their relationship with each other, the folk and scholarly conceptualizations of GH, IH, IA, and SA are discussed. This discussion identifies the common definitions used for the variables of interest for this study prior to an overview of empirical research on IH. The IH literature review consists of two parts with the first focused on existing IH measurements and IH implications for leadership. With little empirical research existing directly linking IH and IA to leadership and organizational performance, a brief synopsis of empirical findings within leadership and organizational literature for their parent domains of GH and arrogance is provided. Concluding the literature review is a summary of SA literature as defined as self-other agreement (SOA) followed by the hypotheses centered on the IH and IA relationship with SA. The purpose of this study was to determine if SA is a component element of IH. To do this, the IH, IA, and SA of 201 Cadets who attend the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, was collected at a total of six data collection time periods, three times per each variable with IH and IA collected together, and the SA variables collected simultaneously. The variables were then examined through cross-lagged path analysis to assess potential relationships between IH and IA with SA determined by self-peer congruency and SA determined by self-CoC congruency. Following this, the growth patterns for each variable were analyzed and compared utilizing linear latent growth modeling. The findings were inconclusive. Although there exist relationships between IH and the SA variables and a smaller amount between IA and the SA variables, the strength of the significant relationships are small and inconsistent. More research is needed to further study the relationship between IH / IA with SA.