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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Are youths' feelings of entitlement always "bad"?: Evidence for a distinction between exploitive and non-exploitive dimensions of entitlement.

  • Author(s): Lessard, Jared
  • Greenberger, Ellen
  • Chen, Chuansheng
  • Farruggia, Susan
  • et al.

Previous personality research (e.g., Campbell et al., 2004) has described the sense of entitlement as an unifactorial construct. In this study, we examined characteristics of two potential facets of entitlement: exploitive entitlement, characterized by exploitive interactions and expectations of special treatment, and non-exploitive entitlement, or entitled beliefs that rest on notions of self-worth and fairness. 466 college students (mean age = 20.5) completed a questionnaire consisting of unifactorial and two-factor measures of entitlement and other personality dispositions and attitudes. As expected, both exploitive and non-exploitive entitlement were positively related to the Psychological Entitlement Scale (PES; r = .51 and r = .43, respectively), an unifactorial measure of entitlement. In other respects, exploitive and non-exploitive entitlement had quite distinct correlates. Exploitive entitlement was uniquely related to higher levels of psychopathy and neuroticism, and lower levels of work orientation, social commitment, and self-esteem; whereas non-exploitive entitlement was uniquely associated with higher self-esteem.

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