Millennials often get criticized for acting out on their feelings of entitlement. As we all know, entitlement isn’t regarded positively.
Feeling “entitled,” according to Google dictionary, means:
“believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.”
Aside from that, it is said that those who feel entitled are more likely to break rules, make unethical decisions and be hostile. So, how can anybody ever see entitlement as a positiveStudy: The One Thing Everyone Hates About Millennials May Actually Be What Makes Them Innovativetrait?
Well, it looks like science has an answer. According to four experiments performed by psychological scientists Emily M. Zitek of Cornell University and Lynne C. Vincent of Vanderbilt University, entitlement in the right doses may actually help with being more creative when solving problems.
The researchers wrote:
“When people feel more entitled, they will think and act differently than others, and the more they do so, the more willing and able they will be to generate creative solutions.”
In the first study, 99 college students received two writing prompts. The first one baited the students into feeling entitled by prompting them to write three reasons why they should demand the best in life, why they deserve more than others and why they should have their way in life. The other prompt asked the students to give three reasons why they don’t deserve more than others. After they were finished, the students were asked to complete two tasks used to measure their creativity level: to think up all of the possible uses for a paperclip and to draw an alien creature using only their imagination.
They found that those who received the prompt baiting them to feel entitled had higher creativity scores across the board. They not only came up with more uses for a paperclip but those uses were also more interesting than those of the non-entitled group. Lastly, their alien drawings were rated as more creative, with more interesting features and abilities.
In another study, 98 MBA student were presented with the same writing prompts from the previous experiment and then asked to solve a series of word puzzles. They were shown three words that seemed to be related, like “falling,” “actor” and “dust,” and were then asked to come up with a fourth word that matched them, which in this case would be “star.”
Again, they found that the participants who felt more entitled did better than those who felt less entitled. The researchers theorize that their findings suggest that their higher level of creativity was connected to their feelings of being unique.
Zitek and Vincent wrote:
“When participants felt entitled, they wanted to be different from others, and the more they wanted to be different, the more creative they became. The entitled individuals’ need for uniqueness seemed to enable them to diverge from the common meanings of the words, which benefited their performance.”
The other two studies yielded similar results: Those who felt they were better than others performed better at creative tasks than those who didn’t.
However, before you all go out to get on your high horse, the researchers caution:
“Thus, our results suggest that small, temporary boosts in entitlement can facilitate creativity, while a chronically entitled disposition does not help and might even backfire on the exact same tasks.”
Conclusion: Feeling good about yourself is good; do it in moderation and you might wake up your dormant creative genius.