Browsing Indiana State University Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Author "Barrett, Scott T."
OPERATIONALIZING HUMILITY: A MODEL OF SITUATIONAL HUMILITY FOR CHRISTIAN COLLEGE STUDENT LEADERSBarrett, Scott T. (Cunningham Memorial library, Terre Haute,Indiana State University, 2017-12)This research study explored how college student leaders operationalize humility in their actions and what leads individuals to act with situational humility. There is a rise in narcissistic tendencies in college students (Twenge, Konrath, Campbell, & Bushman, 2008a, 2008b) and a decline in overall character traits (Burns, 2012; Hunter, 2000; Liddell & Cooper, 2012). Opposite the vice of narcissism sits the virtue of humility (Emmons, 2000; Exline & Geyer, 2004; Peterson & Seligman, 2004; Tangney, 2000). Using a grounded theory approach, the researcher looked to discover the process of humility development. Twenty six in depth interviews were conducted at three institutions. Each institution was a member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities and each participant identified as having a Christian belief system. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed. Transcriptions were coded using grounded theory method of open, axial, and selective coding. Based on the data collected three main themes emerged. Faith and humility go hand in hand, sense of self impacts humbling experiences, and the effect of relationships on humility. Through this research, the model of situational humility emerged grounded in the data. The model of situational humility describes what leads an individual to act with humility within a specific humbling experience. For these students, humbling experiences occurred when their sense of self (“I am an athlete,” “I get things done on time,” “I am a not racist”) did not line of up with their experience of the world (physical injury, failing to send necessary emails, making comments that were received as racial insensitive by a peer). Individuals then move to iv the point of change where they must decide how whether they will reorient their sense of self or actions or if they will not reorient and act with pride. In this point of change individuals were positively impacted towards humility by their Christian belief system, empathy, being in relationship, and interacting with others who were different from them. The implications of this research for institutional leaders who desire to grow humility in students include valuing how humility is seen as a virtue, growing empathy in students, and providing opportunities for students to be in relationship with others, specifically those who are different from them.