Relational humility: conceptualizing and measuring humility as a personality judgment

J Pers Assess. 2011 May;93(3):225-34. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2011.558871.


The study of humility has progressed slowly due to measurement problems. We describe a model of relational humility that conceptualizes humility as a personality judgment. In this set of 5 studies, we developed the 16-item Relational Humility Scale (RHS) and offered initial evidence for the theoretical model. In Study 1 (N = 300), we developed the RHS and its subscales--Global Humility, Superiority, and Accurate View of Self. In Study 2, we confirmed the factor structure of the scale in an independent sample (N = 196). In Study 3, we provided initial evidence supporting construct validity using an experimental design (N = 200). In Study 4 (N = 150), we provided additional evidence of construct validity by examining the relationships between humility and empathy, forgiveness, and other virtues. In Study 5 (N = 163), we adduced evidence of discriminant and incremental validity of the RHS compared with the Honesty-Humility subscale of the HEXACO-PI (Lee & Ashton, 2004).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Emotions*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Family Conflict
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Personality Tests / standards*
  • Personality*
  • Social Values*
  • Students
  • Universities
  • Young Adult