Everyday conceptions of modesty: a prototype analysis

Gregg, Aiden P.; Hart, Claire M.; Sedikides, Constantine and Kumashiro, Madoka. 2008. Everyday conceptions of modesty: a prototype analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(7), pp. 978-992. ISSN 0146-1672 [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

Good theoretical definitions of psychological phenomena not only are rigorously formulated but also provide ample conceptual coverage. To assess the latter, we empirically surveyed everyday conceptions of modesty in a combined U.S./U.K. sample. In Study 1, participants freely generated multiple exemplars of modesty that judges subsequently sorted into superordinate categories. Exemplar frequency and priority served, respectively, as primary and secondary indices of category prototypicality that enabled central, peripheral, and marginal clusters to be identified. Follow-up studies then confirmed the ordinal prototypicality of these clusters with the aid of both explicit (Studies 2 and 3) and implicit (Study 3) methodologies. Modest people emerged centrally as humble, shy, solicitous, and not boastful and peripherally as honest, likeable, not arrogant, attention-avoiding, plain, and gracious. Everyday conceptions of modesty also spanned both mind and behavior, emphasized agreeableness and introversion, and predictably incorporated an element of humility.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Departments, Centres and Research Units:



July 2008Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

25 Mar 2011 09:04

Last Modified:

06 Jan 2020 15:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



Edit Record Edit Record (login required)