The Relationship between Entitlement, Age, Gender, and Well-being
Mentor:Virgil Adams, Program Chair & Associate Professor of Psychology, California State University Channel Islands
Psychological entitlement has been defined as those rights one feels justified in bestowing upon oneself. The term was originally coined by Murray in 1964 to describe individuals who want to be loved and expect all things to come to them. Freud discussed this attitude when describing patients who considered themselves exceptions who had suffered enough and thus should be exempt from any further necessity. The present study focused on the excessive type of entitlement, which is characterized by self-righteousness, grandiosity, and demandingness, and how it relates to age and gender. In addition, it focused on the effects of overall well-being when grouped with entitlement, income, and education. Previous research has shown that young adults perceive themselves as more entitled than ever before and that men perceive more entitlement in general than women do. It has also been shown that in general populations, small but significant correlations exist between income and measures of subjective well-being. This study further examines how entitlement, income, and education effect well-being. It was hypothesized that there would be a negative correlation between age and entitlement and that males would have greater entitlement in comparison to females. The current study was based upon survey results from a sample of community adults in Southern California (n=967). The results indicated that there was a significant correlation between entitlement and age and also between entitlement and gender, with males displaying higher levels of entitlement. There was also evidence that entitlement effected well-being when grouped with income and education. The discussion focuses on the relationship between entitlement, age, and gender and also the importance of entitlement, income, and education in regards to well-being.