INTELLECTUAL HUMILITY:

SCIENTIFIC, PHILOSOPHICAL &
THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES

CAPSTONE CONFERENCE

Below you will find abstracts and videos from presenters at our capstone conference, held on Catalina Island, California, May 11 – 14, 2015.

Part One – Justin Barrett

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Part Two – Ian Church

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Presentation Abstract:

Joshua Alexander, Siena College
Case Structure, Framing Effects, and the Epistemology of Disagreement
 
Sometimes we disagree. We hold certain beliefs that are explicitly rejected by others, and do so even when exposed to all of the same kinds of evidence and arguments. This fact about us has become increasingly interesting to epistemologists, who have tended to focus on whether these kinds of situations require us to change the confidence we have in our beliefs and in what ways. Some epistemologists have argued that we should be moved by the fact that we disagree. According to this view, which is often called the “equal weight view,” disagreement prompts significant doxastic revision: unless we have some independent reason to prefer our own beliefs, we cannot continue to rationally believe that p once we find out that an epistemic peer believes that not-p. Other epistemologists have argued that we need not be moved by the fact that we disagree. According to this view, which is often called the “steadfast view,” disagreement does not necessarily prompt significant doxastic revision; we can continue to believe that p despite the fact that we know that an epistemic peer believes that not-p. Both sides to this debate use what is commonly called “the method of cases,” designing hypothetical cases involving peer disagreement and using what we think about those cases as evidence that specific normative theories are true or false, and as reasons for believing as such. And, with so much weight being given to what we think about these kinds of cases, it makes sense to explore what kinds of things shape how we think about cases of peer disagreement and what this might mean for normative views about what we should do when we disagree. My aim in this presentation is to do just this. I will begin by showing that normative attitudes towards cases of peer disagreement display two important characteristics, what I call “normative neutrality” and “normative instability,” that make it possible to push these normative attitudes in a variety of ways. I will then discuss two ways of pushing normative attitudes about cases of peer disagreement, focusing on the role that case structural features and framing effects play in shaping our normative attitudes towards cases of peer disagreement, and will conclude by arguing that knowing more about what things shape how we think about cases of peer disagreement helps us make better sense of what our normative theories of peer disagreement should look like and contributed to the epistemology of disagreement by helping us develop more fine- grained accounts of what we should do when we disagree.
 

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Presentation Abstract:

Mark Alfano, University of Oregon
Constructing and Validating a Scale of Intellectual Humility
This project reports on six studies establishing the construct validity of a scale measuring intellectual humility. The first is a psycholexical study that focuses on (near) synonyms and antonyms of the phrase ‘intellectual humility’. Superparamagnetic agent mapping indicates that intellectual humility has three facets (sensitivity, discreetness, and inquisitiveness) and is opposed by three contrary dispositions (overrating oneself, underrating oneself, and underrating others). Our second study (n=442, undergraduate participants) employed the results of Study 1 to investigate the factor structure of 52 items related to intellectual humility. Exploratory factor analysis suggested a 7-factor solution. The third study (n=465, MTurk participants) replicates the 7-factor structure using confirmatory factor analysis, and uses an item response theoretic analysis to inform the development of sub-scales measuring four of the seven factors most central to intellectual humility: intellectual modesty, lack of intellectual vanity, intellectual resilience, and inquisitiveness. Study four replicates this factor structure with a large Chinese sample. Study five replicates this structure with informant reports rather than self reports. Study six uses the scale to predict behavior on a high-stakes intellectual humility game.

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Presentation Abstract:

Anne Baril, University of New Mexico
The Role of Intellectual Humility in the Realization of Basic Human Goods

Character traits such as open-mindedness, intellectual courage, intellectual charity, and intellectual humility are counted as epistemic virtues because of their connection to epistemic goods such as knowledge, understanding, acquaintance, and wisdom.  I submit that these character traits are important not only from an epistemic point of view, but from the point of view of human well-being.  Such epistemic virtues play an important role in the realization of certain basic human goods, such as friendship, aesthetic experience, and proper self-respect.  In this paper I focus on intellectual humility in particular, and how its exercise is not only necessary for, but even partly constitutive of, the basic human good of friendship.

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Presentation Abstract:

Heather Battaly, California State University, Fullerton
Daniel Howard-Snyder, Western Washington University
Intellectual Humility: Owning Our Limitations
What is intellectual humility? In this essay, we pose problems for several answers to this question and argue for another one, namely that intellectual humility consists in owning one’s intellectual limitations. After clarifying what it is to own an intellectual limitation, we defend this answer by showing how it explains the plausibility of a variety of plausible predictions while avoiding the problems for competing answers. We then show how it can meet two objections and solve a well-known puzzle regarding humility.

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Presentation Abstract:

Justin Busch & Cristine Legare, University of Texas
The Development of Brief Revision in Response to Evidence
 
Revising explanatory hypotheses when faced with new evidence is essential to the learning process. Research has shown that as part of this learning process, young children provide sophisticated causal explanations in the physical, psychological, and biological domains (Wellman, Hickling, & Schult 1997). However, little is known about how children’s ability to formulate, and modify their beliefs in response to new information develops. This study examines how different forms of evidence influence children’s’ beliefs about events within the psychological domain. Recent research in the physical domain has shown that inconsistent information motivates children to construct explanations (Legare, Gelman, & Wellman 2010), which suggests that cues towards uncertainty may play a vital role in learning. In this experiment, 5-9 year old children (N = 333) were randomly assigned to one of four different conditions in which they were presented with a different type of evidence, uninformative consistent, uninformative inconsistent, uninformative ambiguous, and informative ambiguous. Children were told that their task was to use evidence to discover the favorite fruit of an actor from three different options. In all four conditions, children were first shown a video depicting the actor selecting between two pieces of fruit, constant across conditions. Next, children were presented with a second video, which differed by condition. After the presentation of these two videos, children could seek out additional information if they believed it was necessary, or if they felt they had sufficient information to complete the task, they could guess which fruit was the actor’s favorite. The results suggest that the ability to effectively interpret these different forms of evidence develops throughout childhood. Consistency of information is enticing to all children, reflected in the fact that children in the consistent condition guess the favorite more often (71% of children) than children in the uninformative ambiguous condition (47% of children) with low levels of accuracy (10% accurate). However, the ability to use deductive evidence effectively in the informative ambiguous condition improves significantly with age. Only 44% of 5-year-olds make accurate guesses in comparison to 100% of 7-year-olds who make accurate guesses in the informative ambiguous condition.

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Presentation Abstract:

Scott Cleveland, Saint Louis University
Humility as Intelligent, Low-Sensitivity to Self-Exaltation
 
We define humility as intelligent, low-sensitivity to one’s personal exaltation, whether that be to one’s status, glory, honor, superiority, prestige, or power. We identify conditions for a plausible account of humility, identify some of the strengths and shortcomings of some representative views, and explain and defend our broad conception of humility, which satisfies the conditions, retains the strengths, and avoids the shortcomings identified. Those conditions include that humility does not imply ignorance of one’s quality or value. Humility is good and can be a virtue. False humility exists. Humility is contrary to vicious pride, though not to all pride. Attributing humility to oneself is infelicitous. But awareness of one’s humility is not inconsistent with having it.

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Presentation Abstract:

Caleb Cohoe, Metropolitan State University of Denver
How to Trust the Experts
 
How much work do we have to do to benefit from the testimony of experts? Can we just go ahead and believe what they say, as long as no warning signs are present, or do we, on each occasion, need to do our own evaluation and assess for ourselves the quality of their testimony? I maintain that, for most recipients of information, the absence of negative evidence is sufficient. I criticize accounts that insist on detailed and occurrent monitoring. Such monitoring is costly and does not add much epistemic value, especially when the topic in question is one that the monitor is not well-qualified to evaluate. However, I concede that people who are themselves key links in distributing information, such as teachers or primary care physicians, need to engage in active and careful examination of the relevant information. Further, even when you are primarily a recipient of information, your practical interests can raise the stakes and require more involvement (e.g. when the topic is a disease you suffer from) or undercut your entitlement to accept expert testimony (e.g. when you perceive a difference in goals and values between the experts and yourself).

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Presentation Abstract:

Judith Danovitch, University of Louisville
Jason Moser, Michigan State University
Neural, Cognitive, and Social Contributions to the Development of Children’s Intellectual Humility
 
This project explored neural, cognitive, and social sources of variability in children’s intellectual humility. Participants were 127 children ages 6-8 (63 females), and one of their parents (119 mothers). We focused on three behavioral manifestations of children’s IH: 1) children’s evaluation of their existing knowledge, 2) children’s willingness to seek advice from others, and 3) children’s willingness to revise their beliefs. Overall, children’s evaluations of their own knowledge and their willingness to seek advice were closely related, and children showed greater IH with age. Individual differences in children’s IH were related to behavioral and neural markers of performance monitoring, although these measures were more tightly coupled in boys than in girls. Greater intellectual humility was also positively correlated with intelligence, but there was no relationship to responses on measures of mindset and social cognition. Children’s IH was largely independent of their parent’s IH and demographic variables, but it was related to how much their parent valued IH in children. Together, these findings suggest that children’s intellectual humility is a complex construct whose development is influenced by the way children’s brains monitor performance, their verbal and nonverbal intelligence, and their parent’s attitudes about IH.

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Presentation Abstract:

Kent Dunnington, Greenville College
Intellectual Humility: A Theological Perspective
 
As I’ve studied intellectual humility with psychologists, philosophers and theologians this year, I’ve had many occasions to recall Nietzsche’s famous dictum that only that which has no history is definable. There are at least as many accounts of intellectual humility as there are of humility, and the virtue of humility has such a long and contested history that the prospects for universal agreement are dim. After talking about what we are doing when we are hunting for definitions, I propose a view (developed from Augustine) of the essence of humility Christianly understood. I then extend that view to offer an account of intellectual humility Christianly understood.

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Presentation Abstract:

Naomi Eilan, Guy Longworth, & Johannes Roessler, University of Warwick
Ourselves and Others: The Dependence Thesis
 
We have been exploring a thesis we call the Dependence Thesis, which says that the capacity for self-awareness depends on the capacity for specific forms of social interaction with others—interactions loosely labeled ‘second-personal’. If arguments for the Dependence Thesis are successful, they will indicate ways in which our indebtedness to other runs very deep: we are dependent on others not only for our ways of thinking and knowing about our social and natural environments, but even for our ways of thinking and knowing about ourselves. We have been pursuing work under this general rubric in three distinct areas: the role of the second person in explaining joint attention (Eilan), the importance of being known by others for the pursuit of self- knowledge (Longworth) and the relation between expressing and knowing one’s beliefs (Roessler).

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Presentation Abstract:

Catherine Elgin, Harvard University
Epistemic Normativity
 
I will argue that given our fallibility we need to be intellectually humble. That being so, we should espouse a form of epistemic deontology. Rather taking truth-conduciveness as our epistemic goal, we should think of ourselves as legislating members of a quasi- Kantian realm of epistemic ends. Members of an intellectual community collectively set the standards that bind them when their ends are cognitive. They monitor their activities and results and revise the standards to achieve reflective equilibrium.

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Presentation Abstract:

Peter Graham, University of California, Riverside
Sincerity and the Basis of Testimonial Warrant
 
Most of what we know and are warranted in believing we believe because we have relied upon the word of others. What explains why we are warranted in believing what other people tell us? Since warrant entails reliability in normal conditions, we must be entitled because people tell us the truth for the most part. And to do that people must be sincere for the most part. But what explains why people are sincere for the most part? In this presentation I critically engage a Kantian approach developed by Tyler Burge, and report on an alternative explanation that locates the basis of sincerity in prosocial social norms of cooperative behavior.

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Presentation Abstract:

Aiden P. Gregg, Nikhila Mahadevan, University of Southampton
Do Intellectual Arrogance and Intellectual Humility Have Evolutionary Roots?
 
We propose a general account of intellectual arrogance in which it is understood as a relic of our evolutionary past. We still treat our psychological opinions partly like physical possessions: because they are ours, we value them as precious (mental materialism) and argumentatively fight to keep them (ideological territoriality). We also derived the secondary hypothesis that people higher in agency (status, competence, assertiveness), but lower in communion (inclusion, warmth, amiability), should be most intellectually arrogant, and tested this both correlationally and experimentally, using several indices of intellectual arrogance, across several hundred participants. Alas, the secondary hypothesis was not well supported: different patterns emerged for different indices. Nonetheless, our novel measures of mental materialism and ideological territoriality showed several promising and coherent connections, suggesting a promising basis for future research.

Presentation Abstract:

Christine Helmer, Northwestern University
The Priesthood: A Theological Case Study in Humility
 
In a letter from June 19, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated a “Year for Priests.” The letter uses the adjective “humble” to describe priests. I begin this paper by describing the contradiction in the word “humble” as Benedict XVI uses it. I then proceed to construct a concept of humility that is compatible with the priesthood in the following steps: 1) Teresa of Avila is an example of how practice of the evangelical counsels leads to humility; 2) Both Teresa’s and Martin Luther’s mysticism undercuts a means to an ends approach to virtue and insists on Christ’s presence as gift; 3) I analyze the mystical structure of Luther’s 1520 treatise (Freedom of a Christian) to show that a new subjectivity in Christ is based on a specific idea of humility as self­giving; 4) Peter Hobson’s approach to intersubjectivity adds the dimension of the “in­between”; 5) I take a new look at the common priesthood in relation to the sacerdotal priesthood and argue that whether one has a Roman Catholic understanding or a Protestant one, both theologies of the priesthood should pay attention to this new concept of humility.

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Presentation Abstract:

David Henderson, University of Nebraska
Terry Horgan, University of Arizona
Epistemic Competences, Disagreement, and Thinking Twice
 
One’s fitting response to disagreement is a matter of an abductive response to one’s total evidence. Within this framework, our focus in this paper is two fold: First, we are concerned with the epistemic resources (one’s informational resources and epistemic competence) allowing one to come to warranted judgments about the epistemic standing of specific agents in specific cases. Second, we are concerned with how warranted verdicts on such matters feature in the abductive inference one should make pertaining the claim that is the subject of disagreement. We argue that one’s explanation or lack of explanation of the other’s disagreement concerning p does not, of itself, flatly determine what one ought to believe about p. One’s best explanation of one’s total available evidence can involve the belief that p, and this explanation can be good enough to render p on balance belief-worthy, while one can yet lack an explanation for the other’s apparently mistaken belief that ~p. If so, the attribution of unexplained error to the other constitutes an anomaly for an understanding that may yet be on balance abductively belief-worthy. This anomaly should deeply condition one’s strength of belief in p, but it need not render p thereby not belief-worthy. It seems reasonable to think that a philosophical theory can be abductively warranted while yet facing several anomalies in the form of apparent near peers whose disagreement remains unexplained. That said, we also argue that one commonly has a reasonably well-warranted understanding of the strengths and weakness of the epistemic situation of oneself and one’s disputants. This sense is rooted in the epistemic competences by which one formed one’s initial belief and in those competences for interpretive understanding and the reception of testimony that are involved in one’s identification and exploration of the disagreement.

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Presentation Abstract:

Peter C. Hill, Biola University
Personal Values as a Stress Test of Intellectual Humility
 
Theoretically, individuals who are intellectually humble will remain curious, open- minded, and cognitively flexible because they acknowledge and accept the limits on their knowledge and perspective of the world, of others, and of themselves. Intellectually humble persons, it is argued, are able to maintain their perspective while simultaneously respecting and valuing others’ views, even when such views are opposed to their own views. At face value it would seem that intellectual humility would extend to all cognitive beliefs. But, does it, in fact, extend so far as to affect how people hold their personal values that are central to their meaning system? Initial results from a sample of religiously conservative college students suggest that those who think they are intellectually humble demonstrate belief superiority more than those who report less intellectual humility, but only on closely held values.

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Presentation Abstract:

Thomas Hofweber, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Intellectual Humility and the Limits of Conceptual Representation
 
The appropriateness of intellectual humility is tied to the question whether we have reason to think that we are limited in what we can come to know. Our knowledge has two possible sources of a limitation. One is epistemic, where we can ask the question whether something is the case, but we can’t find good enough reasons for one answer or the other. The second, more serious, limitation is representational, where we can’t even ask the question whether a particular fact obtains, since we are limited what we can represent or think about. Any such limitation would show that we are deeply ignorant of certain facts: not only do we not know that they obtain, we can’t even ask the question whether they obtain. This project investigates whether we have reason to think that we are limited in this sense and what would follow from it for intellectual humility.

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Presentation Abstract:

Joshua N. Hook, University of North Texas
Intellectual Humility and Religion
 
Religious disagreement is common in our country and world, and it can lead to conflict, division, and sometimes even violence. The purpose of this project was to explore intellectual humility in the context of religion. Religion may be one area in which it is especially difficult to practice intellectual humility, because religious beliefs and convictions are often strongly held and defended. In this presentation, we describe several studies that examined the links between ways of being religious, intellectual humility, and religious tolerance.

Presentation Abstract:

Ludwig Jaskolla, Munich School of Philosophy
The Puzzle of Self-Abasement: On An Adequate Concept of Humility
 
The essay aims to explicate an adequate concept of humility based on the works of Thomas Aquinas. It tries to circumvent the different misinterpretations and one- sidednesses of three major current accounts of humility: humility as a virtue of ignorance, humility as modesty, and humility as a behavioral pattern. It is therefore argued that Aquinas’s account of humility as a regulative virtue (cf. Aquinas S.th. 1a2ae, q.61 a.3; original source: Gregorius Magnus, Hom. 7 in Evang., PL 76, 1103) and as opposed to vice of pride leads to an understanding which refrains from self- abasement and grounds humility in those meaningful 2nd person relations that are essential to the person in question.

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Presentation Abstract:

Jesper Kallestrup, University of Edinburgh
From Epistemic Anti-Individualism to Epistemic Humility
 
Epistemic anti-individualism is the view that positive epistemic statuses fail to supervene on internal physical or mental properties of individuals. After some introductory remarks, I provide an argument for epistemic anti-individualism with respect to a virtue-theoretic account of testimonial knowledge. An account of a distinctive kind of epistemic humility is then offered according to which such humility is a central intellectual virtue in the pursuit of knowledge. I then proceed to argue that in so far as testimonial knowledge is concerned, epistemic anti-individualism leads to epistemic humility.

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Presentation Abstract:

Thomas Kelly, Princeton University
Intellectual Humility, Dogmatism, and Disagreement
 
How should we respond to arguments that challenge beliefs of which we are extremely confident, or to the knowledge that many of our beliefs are disputed by highly intelligent, thoughtful and morally serious people whom we respect? At least in our more intellectually humble moments, virtually all of us would admit that a significant number of our views–about religion, history, economics, and so on–are denied by others who seem to be in at least as good of a position to make a judgment about the issue as we are. Is it dogmatic and intellectually arrogant to nevertheless retain such views? Or might it be reasonable, and consistent with being an intellectually humble believer, to “stick to our guns”, at least in certain circumstances? In contrast to our controversial opinions, perhaps some of our fundamental convictions—for example, certain “common sense” beliefs—are relatively uncontroversial. Nevertheless, these beliefs can also be challenged, in some cases by theoretical considerations and arguments that appear quite formidable. In responding to such arguments, is it legitimate to appeal to what we ordinarily think in order to conclude that there simply must be something wrong with them? More generally, how should someone who possesses the virtue of intellectual humility view challenges to her fundamental convictions? This project aims to illuminate the nature of intellectual humility by answering these and related questions. On the account that I develop and defend, even if someone lacks independent grounds for discounting an argument or the conflicting opinion of another (i.e., she can respond only in ways that “beg the question”), it does not follow that she is being dogmatic in sticking to her guns, or that her doing so represents a failure of intellectual humility. Views that suggest otherwise often rest on initially plausible but ultimately mistaken views about the nature of dogmatism. On the other hand, it is also true that a general policy of resolutely maintaining even fundamental convictions in the face of argumentative or interpersonal challenge—perhaps on the grounds that one is certain of their truth—is indefensible. Properly understood, intellectual humility requires that we adopt the attitude of the fallibilist even with respect to our most fundamental convictions.

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Presentation Abstract:

Liz Krumrei Mancuso, Pepperdine University
The Development, Validation, and Initial Application of a Scale of Intellectual Humility
 
I will report on the development and validation of a self-report measure of intellectual humility. The scale offers insight into a person’s acceptance of the limits to his/her knowledge, openness to alternative viewpoints, openness to revising his/her beliefs, and defensiveness about his/her beliefs. I will also describe initial research findings resulting from use of the measure.

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Presentation Abstract:

Mark Leary & Rick Hoyle, Duke University
General and Specific Intellectual Humility: Conceptualization, Measurement, and Validation
 
This presentation reviews a program of research on intellectual humility motivated by four specific aims: (1) define the construct with reference to characteristics that can be measured by self-report; (2) develop measures of both general intellectual humility and intellectual humility with reference to specific domains, topics, and issues; (3) map the nomothetic network of the construct as defined by these measures; (4) test novel hypotheses positing the relationships between intellectual humility, both general and specific, with personality, cognitive, and behavioral processes. Intellectual humility is defined with reference to the way in which people hold their beliefs, focusing on people’s recognition that their beliefs are fallible, limitations in the evidentiary basis of those beliefs, and limitations in obtaining and evaluating information about them. The new measures are psychometrically strong, evidencing the expected pattern of convergent and discriminant validity with respect to a large number on constructs. In addition, the adaptable specific measure evidences measurement invariance across a range of topics, domains, and issues. General intellectual humility is related to extremity of people’s views and their evaluations of others who change their opinions or beliefs. General intellectual humility also predicts the ways in which people approach disagreements and conflicts in their close relationships. Specific intellectual humility is related to the sources of information that underpin specific opinions and beliefs and perceptions of the degree to which one’s own opinions and beliefs are shared by others. The measures under study provide reliable and valid measures of general and specific intellectual humility.

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Presentation Abstract:

Kristi Lockhart, Matthew Fisher, & Frank Keil, Yale University
Illusions of Current and Future Knowledge: The Roles of Experience, Context, and Development
 
We explore different factors that influence the degree to which adults and children overestimate their current and future knowledge. The first set of studies explores whether expertise within a domain of knowledge predicts accurate self-assessment of the ability to explain topics in that domain. While, expertise does increase confidence in the ability to explain a wide variety of phenomena, this confidence is unwarranted. After offering full explanations, people are surprised by the limitations in their understanding. For passive expertise (familiar topics acquired through life experience), those with more education are more accurate in their self-assessments. But when those with more education consider topics related to their area of concentrated study (their college major), they also display an illusion of understanding. This “curse of expertise” effect is shown to arise from a failure to recognize the amount of detailed information that had been forgotten. Thus, while education and expertise can sometimes lead to accurate self-knowledge, they can also create illusions of competence. A follow up “case study” examines what undergraduates remember of the specific content of an introductory psychology course and further supports the view that misunderstandings about the rate of knowledge decline influence illusions of knowing. More transient effects of context can also increase the inaccuracy of self-assessments in adults. A series of studies is briefly described showing that searching for information on the Internet inflates a sense of knowing for internet-searchable information. Overconfidence about current and future knowledge is especially strong in young children and seems to arise from factors distinct from misestimates of the rate of knowledge decline. In five studies we explored young children’s over-optimism for future knowledge states, both in the short and the long run. Young children believe they will know more at age 35 than young adults do in a variety of domains. Moreover, they believe they can achieve greater mastery than adults over a period of one year in domains such as applied psychological knowledge. Young children are also more likely to believe they can learn more than their same aged peers and are more apt to boast about it. Taken together, the studies with adults and children suggest that early over- optimism about knowledge may play an important motivational role in early learning, but that later overconfidence arises from other factors and may not have positive consequences for adults.

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Presentation Abstract:

Grant Macaskill, University of St Andrews
The New Testament and Intellectual Humility
 
The New Testament brings something quite radical to the discussion of intellectual humility: the possibility of considering humility not (only) as something associated with limitation or deficiency, but as something associated with plenitude and perfection. The object of worship in the New Testament, the Incarnate God, is represented as humble, and his “humility of mind” is presented as a model for Christian conduct. Reflection on this point will allow us to introduce fresh elements into the discussion of intellectual humility, providing a model by which it is possible to maintain intellectual humility within the dynamic of engagement with those whom we know to be wrong, or to occupy a weaker intellectual position than ours.

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Presentation Abstract:

Edouard Machery & Stephen Stich, Rutgers University
Intellectual Humility and Cultural Diversity in Philosophy
 
Our talk will have five parts. In part 1, we will explain the role that philosophical intuitions play in philosophy. In part 2, we will explain the link between intellectual humility and the existence of cultural diversity in philosophical intuitions. In part 3, we will provide an overview of our project, which has collected data on philosophical intuitions from over 15,000 participants in 25 countries. This part of the talk will include a brief discussion of some of the unexpected challenges we encountered in conducting work of this sort. In part 4, we will present some of our more interesting results. In part 5, we will offer some tentative conclusions and an overview of the work we hope to do in the future.

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Presentation Abstract:

Maxim Milyavsky, Noa Schori-Eyal, & Arie Kruglanski University of Maryland
Perception of Arrogance
 
When will one’s dismissive behavior be perceived as arrogant? Observed since ancient times, arrogance has nonetheless been subject to little systematic research. We suggest that arrogance has two aspects: epistemic and behavioral. The epistemic aspect concerns the question of who knows better; it can be estimated from one’s expertise and the outcome of the behavior. The behavioral aspect concerns the form of behavior. We predicted that contrary to people’s lay beliefs, arrogance judgments will be influenced more by outcomes than by expertise, and that disrespectful behavior will be considered arrogant regardless of any epistemic considerations. To test these predictions, we presented participants (N = 789) with scenarios in which one dismissed another person’s advice. In Studies 1 & 2, they were asked about the hypothetical importance of the three factors for arrogance judgments. In Studies 3-7, these factors were actually manipulated and pitted against each other. The findings confirmed our predictions.

Presentation Abstract:

Kristina Olson & Sara Haga, University of Washington
Intellectual Humility Across Childhood in Three Cultures
 
In this talk we will present two sets of studies that investigate the development of intellectual humility across childhood in three cultures. Across these studies we focused on four markers of intellectual humility: (1) Knowing what one knows – Children, especially 4- to 5-year-olds, and even adults, struggled with recognizing that they do not know some things. (2) Openness to peers’ opinions: Although 4- to 5-year-olds were the ones who failed more at recognizing the limits of their knowledge, they were the ones who more readily incorporated the peers’ suggestions. (3) Accurately estimating one’s knowledge – 4- to 5-year-olds thought they knew more than the others. 10- to 11- year-olds and adults were more accurate about what they know, but thought others would be more biased than them. (4) Knowing the limits of knowledge – More 4- to 5- year-olds than 10-to 11-year-olds believed that complete knowledge about a domain is attainable. We will present cross-cultural data that show the same patterns as described above in the US, China, and Portugal. Finally, we will present an additional set of studies that focus on children’s and adults’ perceptions of intellectually arrogant, humble and diffident people. Data collection in these studies is still ongoing.

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Presentation Abstract:

Victor Ottati, Loyola University Chicago
Open-Minded Cognition: The Flexible Merit Standard Model
 
This research conceptualizes Intellectual Humility as Open-Minded Cognition in social situations that merit an open-minded response. Open-Minded Cognition is defined as a cognitive style that influences the manner in which individuals select and process information. An Open-Minded cognitive style is marked by a willingness to consider a variety of intellectual perspectives, values, attitudes, opinions or beliefs — even those that contradict the individual’s prior opinion. Research findings include the following. (a) Open-Minded Cognition is structured as a unidimensional, bipolar construct ranging from closed-minded cognition (dogmatism) to open-minded cognition. (b) Open- Minded Cognition varies across individuals and situational domains (e.g., politics, religion). (c) Individual differences in Open Minded Cognition are meaningfully related to a variety of psychological, political, and religious orientations (e.g., trait anxiety, empathy, political partisanship, religiosity). (d) Situation-specific Open-Minded Cognition is jointly determined by the dispositional orientation of the individual and the normative “merit standard” activated by the situation (some situations “merit” open- mindedness whereas other situations “merit” a more closed-minded response). (e) Situations that elicit high self-perceptions of expertise reduce Open-Minded Cognition. (f) Open-Minded Cognition also varies across a variety of other cognitive and affective states that are elicited by the situation.

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Presentation Abstract:

Brad Owens, Brigham Young University
Humility in Leadership and in Teams

Using data from 607 subjects organized in 161 teams (84 laboratory teams and 77 organizational field teams), we examined how leader humility influences team interaction patterns, emergent states, and team performance. We developed and tested a theoretical model arguing that when leaders behave humbly, followers emulate their humble behaviors, creating a shared interpersonal team process (collective humility). This collective humility in turn creates a team emergent state focused on progressively striving toward achieving the team’s highest potential (collective promotion focus), which ultimately enhances team performance. We tested our model across three studies wherein we manipulated leader humility to test the social contagion hypothesis (Study 1), examined the impact of humility on team processes and performance in a longitudinal team simulation (Study 2), and tested the full model in a multistage field study in a health services context (Study 3). The findings from these lab and field studies collectively supported our theoretical model, demonstrating that leader behavior can spread via social contagion to followers, producing an emergent state that ultimately affects team performance. Our findings contribute to the leadership literature by suggesting the need for leaders to lead by example, and showing precisely how a specific set of leader behaviors influence team performance, which may provide a useful template for future leadership research on a wide variety of leader behaviors.

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Presentation Abstract:

Matthew Jarvinen, Thomas Paulus, Peter Samuelson, Ariel Reid, Ian Church, & Justin Barrett, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology
Attachment and Opinion Revision: What’s the Relationship Between Emotion and Cognitive Openness?
 
What factors influence a child’s decision to trust? For example, would children use their assessment of the moral character of an informant as a criterion for epistemic trust? In order to answer these questions, we presented children with pairs of stories about moral and conventional violations (harm, stealing, purity, disloyalty, disobedience, dress convention violation). After each pair of stories were presented, we showed the children an ambiguous object and indicated the different violators had different names for the object. We then asked the children which character had the right name for the object (forced choice). Though data collection and analysis are in the process of being finalized, we hypothesize that children will more often trust those whose violations are less severe (as determined by the severity ratings from an earlier phase of this study). These studies extend existing research by testing whether the moral character of the informant influences epistemic trust.

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Presentation Abstract:

Tenelle Porter, Stanford University
Intellectual Humility: Importance for Learning in School and From Opposing Views
 
In three studies we examine the link between intellectual humility and learning-relevant outcomes. In Study 1 we show that intellectual humility predicts teacher-reported engagement, grades, and growth in achievement over time in high school. In two studies, we show that intellectual humility boosts adults’ openness to learning from opposing views.

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Presentation Abstract:

Vasudevi Reddy & Clare Wilson, University of Portsmouth
Humility and Openness to Engagement
 
Humility is often seen as an evaluative attitude, trait or state pertaining to one’s attitude to oneself. In this talk we try to shift that focus in three ways: first we move towards seeing humility (and its absence) as a relation towards the ‘other’ as a person; second we move towards a focus on everyday actions and interactions rather than more internal attitudes and dispositions; and third we move towards seeing it as transient and fleeting rather than substantial and lasting. Making these shifts of viewpoint, we come to see humility as an openness to engaging with others in a subject-subject or person- person or I-Thou manner, avoiding the pitfalls of objectification and external agendas. Intellectual humility, we argue involves a further shift: one of bringing in a similarly open and dialogic relation towards a third entity – truth and knowledge. We also present the findings of an empirical study of intellectual humility and emotional openness and their absence in three cultures with very different social relational practices. We found surprisingly few differences between cultural groups in their attitudes towards these concepts. Qualitative analyses of respondents’ practical examples revealed overlapping themes between these concepts despite situational and culture-specific variations in the details.

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Presentation Abstract:

Wade Rowatt & Benjamin Meagher, Baylor University
A Social Relations Modeling Approach to Intellectual Humility
 
Despite a growing interest in intellectual humility (IH) and intellectual arrogance (IA), adequate measurement of these constructs remains a challenging issue. This paper presents a pair of studies that sought to compare two distinct strategies: self- assessments and relational measures of group consensus. In Study 1, unacquainted participants provided round-robin judgments of fellow group members following a set of collaborative tasks. A social relations analysis revealed no consensus for either construct, making the relational measure untenable. However, a round-robin design among well-acquainted students following several months of cooperative course work (Study 2) did reveal reliable consensus for both IH and IA. In contrast, self-reported IH in both studies was positively associated with self-enhancing on positive attributes, despite the construct’s definitional association with accurate self-appraisals, whereas relational IH was not. These studies point to the multiple challenges inherent in measuring these constructs and show how personal and relational assessments can differ dramatically.

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Presentation Abstract:

Peter Samuelson, Matthew Jarvinen, Thomas Paulus, Ariel Reid, Ian Church, & Justin Barrett, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology
Must We Trust to Be Humble? Character Assessment and Epistemic Trust in Children
 
What factors influence a child’s decision to trust? For example, would children use their assessment of the moral character of an informant as a criterion for epistemic trust? In order to answer these questions, we presented children with pairs of stories about moral and conventional violations (harm, stealing, purity, disloyalty, disobedience, dress convention violation). After each pair of stories were presented, we showed the children an ambiguous object and indicated the different violators had different names for the object. We then asked the children which character had the right name for the object (forced choice). Though data collection and analysis are in the process of being finalized, we hypothesize that children will more often trust those whose violations are less severe (as determined by the severity ratings from an earlier phase of this study). These studies extend existing research by testing whether the moral character of the informant influences epistemic trust.

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Presentation Abstract:

John Schellenberg, Mount Saint Vincent University
The Humility of Reason: Epistemology and Our Place in Evolutionary Time
 
A minimalist conception of intellectual humility is identified and shown to be applicable quite generally to inquiry, given a widespread but largely unnoticed presupposition of human intellectual maturity and certain under-appreciated scientific results involving deep time. A variety of important consequences for epistemology are presented, including: (i) a challenge to the epistemological centrality of belief and knowledge, (ii) a solution for the problem of peer disagreement, and (iii) a novel answer to skepticism.

Presentation Abstract:

Ernest Sosa, Rutgers University
Knowledge and Action
 
It will be argued that knowledge is a form of action. (Along the way it will be shown briefly how in crucial respects Descartes’s epistemology falls under Aristotle’s virtue ethics.)

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Presentation Abstract:

Kevin Timpe, Northwest Nazarene University
James Van Slyke, Fresno Pacific University
Rebecca DeYong, Calvin College
Fundamental Practices for Intellectual Formation: Explorations of the Habit of Humility
 
The virtue of moral humility plays a unique role in intellectual humility through the formation of habits that are able to overcome certain vices and cognitive biases that often interfere with this process. We argue that, in most instances, intellectual humility is not something that is learned, but requires specific practices and formative habits to develop an identity that recognizes its indebtedness to others and the unique limitations of the human endeavor for knowledge. In our exploration of the relationship between moral humility and intellectual humility, we will draw on empirical evidence from the lives of moral exemplars, who demonstrate extraordinary acts of moral courage coupled with unusual levels of moral humility. Moral exemplars demonstrate that moral actions are the result of character formation; different values become integrated into a personal identity that constrains the types of moral actions exercised during their lifetimes. Our grant project attempts to integrate philosophical and empirical research on the development of intellectual humility and think practically about how this character trait is formed in community through various practices.

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Presentation Abstract:

Jen Cole Wright, College of Charleston
Thomas Nadelhoffer, College of Charleston
Exploring Humility: Theory, Measurement, and Development
In this presentation we will explore the history of humility in the theological and philosophical literature and discuss challenges for its empirical measurement. We will argue for a particular account of humility, present our multifaceted measurement strategies (designed to overcome those challenges), and highlight what we have discovered thus far.