Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Kathleen Row

Committee Members

Lowell Gaertner, Eric Sundstrom, Sandra Thomas


Humility is widely accepted as a character strength or virtue, yet very little research has been done as to its development or benefits, partly due to the lack of a reliable and valid explicit measure or scale. Since to date no such scale has been published, the current study investigates the importance and nature of humility and develops a measure to be analyzed as to its reliability and validity. Potential scale items were derived from participants’ recollection of humbling experiences and Tangney’s (2000) definition of humility. Principal Components Analysis revealed four humility subscales: openness, self-forgetfulness, accurate self-assessment, and focus on others. Results suggest that the derived 13-item scale has good concurrent and divergent validity, and that three of the four principal components have acceptable reliability. Researchers can use information from the Humility scale to better understand how it relates to other concepts of positive psychology and how increasing humility might be advantageous to interpersonal relationships.

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