Pride as a state and as a trait: Polish adaptation of the authentic and hubristic pride scales


The main purpose of the study of the presented article is to prepare the Polish version of the Authentic and Hubristic Pride Scales and to verify its psychometric properties: reliability, and factorial and external validity. Within the study, 210 participants aged between 20 and 56 were administered the following tests: Authentic and Hubristic Pride Scales, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and Moral Feelings Scale. The Polish adaptation of the Authentic and Hubristic Pride Scales was demonstrated to be reliable in its measurement of authentic and hubristic pride. Moreover, factor analyses carried out under different methodological approaches confirmed that the validity of the two-dimensional model of pride and correlations with other psychological variables further support this distinction. The results indicate the validity of the Authentic and Hubristic Pride Scales for studying the two dimensions of pride in the Polish population.

Pride and hubris are self-conscious emotions that individuals experience. According to Lewis (2005), pride appears as joy due to successfully performed actions and positive thoughts and feelings, whereas hubris can be defined as excessive pride or self-confidence, often leading to negative consequences. Tracy and Robins (2007a) noted that although pride and hubris are distinct, they are regarded similar phenomena, and thus they refer to them as authentic and hubristic pride, respectively. Bodolica and Spraggon (2011) argued that authentic pride is distinguished by self-trust, self-esteem and reference to the specific self and is linked to internal motivation, mainly dedication to goals and achievement of success, whereas hubristic pride is linked to external motivations such as prestige and domination (Tracy and Robins 2007a). Individuals who tend to feel authentic pride search for the cause of failure among their inner characteristics, such as their abilities, whereas individuals who tend to feel hubristic pride search for the cause of failure in the outside world. While in contact with other people, individuals who feel hubristic pride are conflict-prone and antisocial, and they often disregard other people, unlike individuals who experience authentic pride more often, which is linked to respect, acceptance of others and willingness to collaborate with them (Bodolica and Spraggon 2011). As authentic and hubristic pride have distinct impacts on one’s individual and social lives, studying their structure and mutual relationships are important research topics.

Measurement of Authentic and Hubristic Pride

Tracy and Robins (2007b) proposed a self-report measure, the Authentic and Hubristic Pride Scales (AHPS) to examine authentic pride and hubristic pride. As a result of conceptual works and studies carried out, the final version of the tool comprised 14 items – adjectives, seven for each type of pride, selected from an initial pool of 20 items based on semantic and psychometric analyses. The authentic pride scale according to Tracy and Robins (2007b) includes the following adjectives: accomplished, achieving, confident, fulfilled, productive, self-worth and successful, whereas the hubristic pride scale is composed of the following adjectives: arrogant, conceited, egotistical, pompous, smug, snobbish and stuck-up. The above items create a list of adjectives which the respondent chooses by using a 5-point response scale (from 1 – not at all to 5 – extremely) twice. In part one, the respondent describes their feelings at a moment in time (state measurement), and in part two, the respondent describes how he or she feels in general (trait measurement). Therefore, AHPS is composed of four scales, i.e., the authentic and hubristic pride scales for measuring the state and the trait. The reliability of the measurement of the proposed scales is high. Also, based on the results of the exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, the two-factorial structure of pride was confirmed. The correlation between the distinguished scales of authentic and hubristic pride was close to zero, ranging from r = .08 to r = .14, which confirmed the theoretical expectations (Tracy et al. 2009).

Until now, apart from the original study conducted in the United States (Tracy and Robins 2007b), the structure of the AHPS has been tested only in China and South Korea (Shi et al. 2015). Except for the study conducted in the U.S. (Tracy and Robins 2007b), only exploratory approaches were applied. Shi et al. (2015) demonstrated that the two-dimensional model of pride is culturally universal because despite using U.S.-derived or Korean-derived pride-related words, the structure of pride was shown to be divided into authentic and hubristic pride. This claim is also supported in the study by Laskoski et al. (2013), who provided further evidence that the two-dimensional structure of pride is independent from culture. The AHPS (Tracy and Robins 2007b) can be seen as a valuable tool designed to assess the two faces of pride; however, to date, its structure was examined mostly in denial of confirmatory methods. Owing to the cultural universality of the construct (Laskoski et al. 2013; Shi et al. 2015), in the current study we aim to fill this gap in existing research, and through presentation of the Polish adaptation of the AHPS, we aim to systematically analyse the structure of the AHPS using factor analyses carried out under different methodological approaches.

Current Study

The main purpose of the research presented in this article is to prepare the Polish version of the AHPS (Tracy and Robins 2007b) and to verify its psychometric properties: 1) reliability, 2) structural validity and 3) external validity. The first hypothesis states that the AHPS reliably measures authentic and hubristic pride in Polish population. To test this hypothesis, we analysed reliability estimates (i.e., Cronbach’s α) and Pearson’s correlation coefficient between two time-point intervals. The second hypothesis considered that the two-dimensional structure of pride would replicate. To test the second hypothesis, we analysed the structure of AHPS using different methodological approaches, i.e., confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM). The last hypothesis in the adaptation of the AHPS is to show its satisfactory external validity with regard to other psychological constructs, such as self-esteem, pride and hubris experienced when realising one’s own moral norms and experiencing a feeling of shame and guilt in the face of violating subjectively important norms. To test this hypothesis, two-tailed Pearson’s correlations coefficients were analysed.


Participants and Procedure

A total of 210 adults (62% females) from different parts of Poland, aged between 20 and 56 years old (M = 28.62, SD = 8.26), participated in the study. The highest percentage of respondents in the study group were young people aged 21 (13.8%), 25 (11.9%) and 26 (11.4%). In addition, in order to estimate the stability of AHPS, a group of 43 psychology students aged between 21 and 22 (70% females) were examined twice, with an interval of two weeks between the test and the retest. The study was conducted directly with the use of the “paper and pencil” method. All respondents were informed that the study was anonymous. Participation was voluntary, without any remuneration paid to the participants.

The study was carried out in stages from June 2014 to April 2015. First, approval for the adaptation of the AHPS test was obtained from the first author of the AHPS (Prof. Tracy). Next, 14 items that represent the ratios of authentic and hubristic pride were translated into Polish. Due to translation difficulties (idioms) with individual statements and the fact that adjectives usually have several alternative translations, experimental synonyms and synonymous phrases were additionally introduced to reflect the psychological meanings of both kinds of pride in Polish to the highest extent. Consequently, an experimental version of the tool was created with 26 adjectives, 13 on the authentic pride scale and 13 on the hubristic pride scale. That version was then translated into English by a different person with appropriate linguistic qualifications (back translation).


Apart from AHPS, in order to examine its external validity, two additional tools were used.

The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE; Rosenberg 1965; Polish adaptation: Łaguna et al. 2007) measures global self-esteem. It determines the level of negative or positive assessment of the self, i.e., recognising oneself as more or less valuable. The tool comprises 10 items in the form of statements on which the respondent takes a position using a four-point Likert-type scale. Measurement reliability in the study was very high at α = .86.

The Moral Feelings Scale–5 (MFS-5; Strus 2010), which was developed in the Polish language, was used to measure one’s tendency to experience various emotional states in moral situations. The tool is comprised of two parts. In part A (26 items), the test involves assessment of the frequency of experiencing individual feelings in a situation when subjectively important moral norms are transgressed, whereas in part B (25 items), the respondent assesses the occurrence of individual emotions in a situation when such moral norms are realised. A seven-point Likert-type scale was used ranging from 0 (never) to 6 (always). In the present study, only parts of the scales were used, i.e., the scales related to shame, global guilt and remorse from part A, and the scales related to negative feelings, hubris, pride and duty towards the principles from part B. Reliability ratios for the sub-scales in the study reached from α = .59 to .71.

Statistical Analyses

In order to assess reliability and external validity, standard statistical tests were used, whereas factorial validity assessment was performed with the use of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM; Asparouhov and Muthén 2009).

Within ESEM, two variants are distinguished – exploratory, whose assumptions are no different from EFA; and confirmatory – in which, similar to CFA, the tested structure is assumed a priori, but like EFA, cross-loadings are acceptable (Marsh et al. 2014). The confirmatory variant constitutes a kind of hybrid which introduces a new quality to data analysis because it is used to examine theoretical assumptions while also facilitating cross-loadings, if they actually exist. In ESEM, the assumed structure is tested by the use of target rotation, which calculates the assumed structure without any restrictions, while cross-loadings are targeted so that their values are as close to zero as possible. The rotation used does not impact the level of fit ratios, but it affects the value of factorial loadings obtained. A graphical representation of the measurement models is shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 1

Graphical representation of measurement models (1) CFA; (2) EFA/ESEM in the exploratory variant and (3) ESEM in the confirmatory variant

While assessing the fit of the model to data, irrespective of the measurement model used, three statistics are usually used: (1) χ2, which indicates that the model fits the data well if its value is statistically insignificant (this ratio is recommended for uncomplicated models calculated for small groups, since otherwise its value is often biased (Kline 2011); (2) comparative fit index (CFI), which indicates that the model fits the data well if its value is higher than .90; and (3) root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), which indicates a good fit if the value is lower than .06 (Hu and Bentler 1999). The value of the RMSEA ratio is connected to a 90% confidence interval, whose upper value limit should not exceed .08, and a likelihood ratio, which should be non-significant (Browne and Cudeck 1993; Hu and Bentler 1999).


Test Item Selection

Step one was to verify alternative translations of the test items and to select the best ones based on the psychometric characteristics shown. The criteria were the discriminatory powers of individual items (item-scale correlations) and loadings shown in a two-factorial solution of exploratory factorial analysis. Based on the procedure proposed by the authors of the original version of the tool (Tracy and Robins 2007a), translations were selected which had the highest loadings in the factor and the lowest loadings in the second factor while at the same time taking into consideration the results of the analysis in terms of both state and trait measurements. That is how the final version of the Polish adaptation of AHPS with 14 items (7 per scale) was created.


The scales of the Polish AHPS adaptation were subjected to reliability analysis. To that end, internal validity and test-retest reliability were calculated for the scales. Discriminatory power values (item-scale correlation ratios) for the authentic pride scale ranged from .56 to .77 in the state version and from .48 to .71 in the trait version, whereas for the hubristic pride scale they ranged from .51 to .72 in the state measurement and from .55 to .74 in the trait measurement. Internal validity ratios were α = .86 for authentic pride as a state, α = .88 for authentic pride as a trait, α = .83 for hubristic pride as a state, and α = .85 for hubristic pride as a trait. The test-retest reliability for authentic pride as a state (.81) and as a trait (.78) and for the hubristic pride as a state (.77) and as a trait (.78) were all good. Thus, the reliability of the Polish adaptation of AHPS can therefore be considered satisfactory.

Factorial Validity

As part of the assessment of the assumed two-factor scale structure, three different analytical approaches were adopted with descending levels of restrictiveness in order to show that despite offering more freedom in terms of the occurrence of cross-loadings, their values remain close to zero irrespective of the measurement method used. Table 1 details fit statistics of the models tested.

Table 1 Fit ratios for the tested models of authentic and hubristic pride scales (N = 210)

All models defining pride as a trait proved to be perfectly fitted to the data, which confirms the expected two-factor structure. In the models defining pride as a state, individual models were close to the acceptable limit of fitness. The reason for the poorer fit was the high correlation of residual errors in two test items, i.e., “accomplished” and “fulfilled”. After taking this relationship into consideration, all models proved to be very well fitted to the data; therefore, the hypothesis regarding the two-dimensional conceptualisation and operationalisation of pride was confirmed.

The size of standardised factor loadings for pride defined as a state are shown in Table 2.

Table 2 Sizes of factor loadings for the authentic and hubristic pride scales defined as a state (N = 210)

The differences in the sizes of loadings between different methods of assessment of the structure with varying restrictiveness levels proved marginal, which confirms the two-factor structure of pride in the Polish adaptation of the method. The strengths of none of the expected factor loadings was lower than .50, while the value of the majority of cross-loadings was close to zero, which proves the independent and structurally sound measurement of authentic and hubristic pride as a state.

The sizes of factor loadings for authentic and hubristic pride defined as a trait are presented in Table 3.

Table 3 Size of factor loadings for the authentic and hubristic pride scales defined as a trait (N = 210)

Similar to authentic and hubristic pride defined as a state – also when defined as a trait – it did not contribute to the development of differences in the sizes of factor loadings assessed with the use of different procedures. The strength of the majority of cross-loadings was close to zero, while the strength of factor loadings corresponding to the factors was high. Correlation factors between authentic pride and hubristic pride were higher in state measurements than in trait measurements. However, in both cases, the strength of the relationship was insignificant, which facilitates a conclusion that both psychological concepts measured are independent from each another.

External Validity

External validity was established on the basis of correlations with other selected psychological variables which were expected to have significant relationships with the AHPS authentic and hubristic pride scales, confirming the correctness of the latter. On the basis of theoretical assumptions and previous research results, positive correlations of self-esteem with authentic pride scales were expected, and a lack of association with the scale of hubristic pride was confirmed empirically (Table 4). Authentic pride scales (in particular, trait measurements) should have a positive correlation with the most functional feelings experienced in situations where subjectively important moral norms are realised (pride, duty towards principles) and a negative correlation with more dysfunctional forms. In case of hubristic pride scales, a reverse correlation pattern was expected. In general, the results obtained confirmed these expectations. However, in the case of feelings experienced in a situation where moral norms are transgressed, authentic pride shows a positive correlation with its most functional form, i.e., the feeling of remorse (but only on the state level) and a negative correlation with global guilt devaluating the individual’s self. In terms of the hubristic pride scale, it only showed (on the state level) a negative correlation with the feeling of remorse. Guilt measured with MFS–5 did not have a correlation with AHPS pride scales. Generally, the results obtained can be deemed to confirm the validity of the Polish version of AHPS.

Table 4 Pearson’s r – correlation ratio between authentic and hubristic pride scales (AHPS), self-esteem (RSE) and moral feelings (MFS–5)


The aim of this article was to present the results of a study on the Polish adaptation of the AHPS questionnaire used to measure authentic and hubristic pride, created by Tracy and Robins (2007a). The results presented indicate that the adapted tool shows a satisfactory reliability and structural validity (internal) and external validity. The reliability of the Polish adaptation of AHPS proved higher than in the Brazilian and Chinese versions (Cheung et al. 2016; Laskoski et al. 2013) and was on a similar level as the original Canadian version (Tracy and Robins 2007a) and slightly lower than the Korean version (Shi et al. 2015). At the same time, the results obtained confirmed that the distinction between the two types of pride, authentic and hubristic, is justified. This is shown by the results of the factor analyses performed and correlations found with other psychological variables. Differences in the sizes of the loadings between various methods of assessment of the structure with varying restrictiveness levels proved marginal, which confirms the two-factor structure of pride in the Polish adaptation of AHPS. Correlations with self-esteem, duty towards principles, pride, hubris and negative feelings experienced when subjectively important moral norms are realised, as well as the feeling of remorse and global guilt experienced in situations when internalised moral norms are breached, were consistent with the expectations and results of other studies (e.g., Bodolica and Spraggon 2011; Tracy and Robins 2007a), confirming very good psychometric characteristics of the Polish adaptation of AHPS. Studies carried out to date – including the ones presented in this article – confirm that in general, authentic pride is a functional emotion while hubristic pride is maladaptive, both from intra-psychological and interpersonal perspectives (Rogoza et al. 2018). Nevertheless, further research is needed, for instance, to explore in-depth the correlations between hubris and self-esteem and to verify the mechanism of developing conceit as a defence against low self-esteem. Finally, it would also be interesting to examine the relationships and mechanisms responsible for the correlations of authentic and hubristic pride with other self-conscious emotions.


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Ministry of Higher Education in Poland, No 1/17.

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Correspondence to Sławomir Ślaski.

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Ślaski, S., Rogoza, R. & Strus, W. Pride as a state and as a trait: Polish adaptation of the authentic and hubristic pride scales. Curr Psychol (2019).

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  • Authentic pride
  • Hubristic pride
  • Measurement
  • Self-conscious emotions