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Emotion. 2014 Feb;14(1):17-32. doi: 10.1037/a0031711. Epub 2013 Mar 25.

Conceptual and empirical challenges to the "Authentic" versus "Hubristic" model of pride.

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Center for Behavior, Evolution and Culture, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles.
Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles.


An increasingly influential perspective in the study of pride holds that there are two distinct facets characterized by distinct ways of appraising the causes of achievement. "Authentic Pride" has been characterized as attributing success to one's temporary effort, whereas "Hubristic Pride" purportedly attributes success to one's stable, innate ability. In four studies, we present evidence against both predicted attributional profiles, and demonstrate that the Hubristic Pride Scale does not measure feelings of pride at all, but rather measures acknowledgment that one has displayed pride in an excessive manner. In Studies 1a and 1b, perceptions of not genuinely meriting credit for successes significantly mediated Hubristic Pride ratings; in Study 2, Hubristic Pride scores correlated with sensitivity to social evaluations of oneself, and in Study 3, Hubristic Pride scores correlated with perceptions of oneself as undeserving of true credit for success. Across studies, Hubristic Pride scores were repeatedly uncorrelated with causal attributions of success to effort, personal ability, stable traits, or the actions of the self, but positively correlated with appraisals of personal shortcomings along these dimensions as causing failure. In contrast to this self-deprecating appraisal style, Authentic Pride scores predicted attributions of success to effort, ability, stable traits, and the self, but negatively correlated with appraisals of the causes of failures. Although our results are incompatible with the Authentic and Hubristic model of pride as previously formulated and measured, we advocate, on evolutionary grounds, for continued inquiry into the prospective two-facet structure of pride using improved instruments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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