All About Wisdom

It can be difficult to define Wisdom, but people generally recognize it when they encounter it. Psychologists pretty much agree it involves an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as its ups and downs. There's an awareness of how things play out over time, and it confers a sense of balance.

Wise people generally share an optimism that life's problems can be solved and experience a certain amount of calm in facing difficult decisions. Intelligence—if only anyone could figure out exactly what it is—may be necessary for wisdom, but it definitely isn't sufficient; an ability to see the big picture, a sense of proportion, and considerable introspection also contribute to its development.

Recent Posts on Wisdom

What Constitutes Real Science?

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on August 29, 2015 in Obesely Speaking
"Say it ain't so Joe!": Science and Nature both question the scientific validity of over half of the published psychology research.


By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 28, 2015 in How To Do Life
Straight talk on what works in the real world.

Remembering Blackouts: An Interview with Sarah Hepola

By Anna David on August 27, 2015 in After Party Chat
In the first of a two-part interview, the author shares her thoughts on how alcoholism isn’t always a burning building but a "wrecking ball from inside."

Killing Academia: The Death of America's Colleges

Wake up, America! Your children are no longer being taught by professors.

Reducing Our Children's Stress During The School Year

By Allison Carmen on August 26, 2015 in The Gift of Maybe
As our children are heading back to school, they may already appear a little more stressed. Within weeks of school starting, our children can become irritable, sleep less and you may notice things getting out of whack with family life at home. Here are six tips you can use to help reduce your child's stress so they can feel more balanced and get their work done.

Psychology for Flourishing

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on August 23, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
“A shared story is the basis of the ability of any people to live together as an organized society.” Cultural stories or narratives shape attitudes and behaviors, influencing everyday psychological functioning. David Korten says that we have our story wrong, one that heads us toward self-destruction. There is an alternative, life-promoting story...

Toward Living and Dying Well

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 22, 2015 in How To Do Life
An exercise and suggestions to help deal with the ultimate questions.

Love Is a Feeling, Love Is a Plan

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Ambigamy
Don't tell me you love me if you don't feel it, but tell me you love me when you don't feel it, yet still want to stay together.

America's Infatuation with Jim Harbaugh

By Billi Gordon Ph.D. on August 16, 2015 in Obesely Speaking
While other college coaches are busy strategizing to win football games, Jim Harbaugh is conquering a nation without trying.

It Seemed a Good Idea...

It seemed so obvious at the time.

Sex Surveys: Why They Produce Contradictory Findings

By Michael Castleman M.A. on August 14, 2015 in All About Sex
To understand sex studies, read the fine print. Critically.

World Elephant Day

By Sandy Olliges M.A. on August 14, 2015 in EcoMind
Elephants are important in nature and as spiritual symbols. Elephants are magnificent mammals that live in social groups and care for their young. They are smart and have feelings. Being a keystone species, elephants create and maintain an ecosystem for themselves and for many other plants and animals.

Help! You're Too Close

By Atalanta Beaumont on August 14, 2015 in Handy Hints for Humans
How to give and get personal space

The Psychology of Regret

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on August 14, 2015 in A Sideways View
There is nothing like shortage of time to concentrate the mind. Those who have looked back in their final months of life and written about things have a lot to teach us.

"I'm Useless" Syndrome

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 14, 2015 in How To Do Life
Some people feel that additional accomplishment isn't worth the effort. This article explores the issue.

How to Live in the Real World (Minus One Troubling Word)

Reality has no interest in our narrative on what "should" be. "Should" only intensifies our suffering. The way to peace is not by winning the war with reality, but by surrendering our fight with what is.

Learn More About "Nothing"

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on August 11, 2015 in Creating in Flow
If you're a fan of playful philosophical exploration, a little-known series of talks on DVD is sure to provide creative inspiration.

To Love Someone, Do You Really Need to Love Yourself First?

It’s become commonplace to proclaim that truly loving another depends on first loving yourself. But just how warranted is this maxim? Is it backed by science or academic research? Or is it little more than folk wisdom—or maybe, pseudo-wisdom? I’ve sought to track down any authoritative studies on this so-intriguing topic and . . .

Countering Sad Millennial Syndrome

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 11, 2015 in How To Do Life
20-somethings face challenges but there's hope.

Vacations Can Make You a Better Person

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 in More Than Mortal
Awe-inspiring experiences reduce self-focus and increase prosocial behavior.

Facing Mortality and Being Happy

Most of us pretend we’ll live forever and be remembered just as long. Death won’t come for us, we think. But the truth is it will for all of us.

Countering Sad Politically Incorrect Syndrome

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 in How To Do Life
Being out of step with the times can be dispiriting and tough to cure.

No Regret Insurance - Preventing One of Life's Tragedies

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on August 08, 2015 in Just Listen
What a tragedy to get to the end of your life filled with regret and no time left to make it right

The Bracing, Empty Self versus the Open, Heart-Minded Self

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
The anthropologist, Colin Turnbull, contrasted his British upbringing with African Mbuti children, a non-industrialized foraging society whom he studied. Upon reaching adolescence. Mbuti children brimmed with skills and confidence whereas in contrast, he had felt empty and uncertain, ripe for bullying by teachers and peers.

The Mastectomy Chronicles, Pt. 1: A Sizemic Change

In a society that values appearance, and which has historically equated self with body, how does a woman remain whole in the shadow of mastectomy?

Wealthy-But-Sad Syndrome and Ways to Address It

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 07, 2015 in How To Do Life
Surprisingly often, a side effect of wealth is sadness. There are solutions.

The Wonder of New Worlds

By Neal Roese on August 06, 2015 in In Hindsight
On July 23, 2015, the discovery of the planet Kepler-452b was announced -- the most Earth-like planet yet found, with a size similar to earth and an orbital distance from its sun just right for sustaining We aren’t going there any time soon, yet star travel nonetheless animates our imaginations. What might we find out there?

How Steve Jobs Would Trump and Disrupt the Republican Debate

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on August 05, 2015 in Just Listen
General Schwarzkopf once said that the first thing you do when you become a General is take off your specialty pins, because the only thing that matters is the mission and that has to override your defaulting back to your prior area of competence. Don't you agree that the President we need, must take off his or her party affiliation to serve the mission we all need?

My Mentor Never Gave His Last Lecture

By Adam Grant Ph.D. on August 05, 2015 in Give and Take
If you use your candle to light mine, I get light without darkening you.