A Sense of Entitlement Boosts Creativity

A sense of entitlement is usually viewed as having a negative effect on the attitudes of children and adults, as well as, how they may treat others. However, a new study finds that small doses of entitlement may have a positive effect on boosting children’s creativity.

The researchers found that children who feel more entitled also value themselves as being different from their peers. When children construct a self-image of themselves as being different, it also creates a greater need for uniqueness, which may cause them to break social conventions and norms in how they dress and behave.

This sort of thinking also taps into their creative side by helping children to think 'outside of the box' on various levels.

To test this, the researchers looked used four creative tests to analyze the correlation between entitlement and creativity. The researchers gave the participants a boost in feelings of entitlement before the creative tests in which the participants would write about why or why not they should feel more entitled than others. Participants in the control group wrote three reasons as to why they should not demand the best in life, why they should not expect to get the best in life, and why they are less deserving than others.

Then, the researchers' asked the participants to come up with potential uses for a paper clip, drawing an alien with a word association exercise, and unscrambling sentences.

The results showed that children whose entitlement was boosted outperformed children in the control group on each task. Although it should be noted that these experiments tested “state entitlement” which means only a temporary boost in entitlement is created, rather than “trait entitlement” which is more permanent state of mind. Permanent feelings of entitlement are often associated with narcissism which has not been linked to creativity.

Of course, over emphasizing children’s sense of entitlement can have adverse effects on their attitudes.  Therefore, it is recommended that parents and educators can help encourage children, while simultaneously ensuring they maintain a healthy and humble outlook.
Furthermore, the researchers believe that by creating a small sense of entitlement for children can actually help them construct a positive and unique self-identity.

StepUp Summary

Similarly, while the goal of an individualized StepUp program is to help your child become an independent learner -- demonstrating improvements in reading, math, and handwriting -- children also develop a “can-do” attitude toward learning. Children learn to predict that they can be successful in learning.

Watch this video to see StepUp to Learn in action!

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