All About Wisdom

Wisdom is one of those qualities difficult to define—because it encompasses so much—but which people generally recognize when they encounter it. And it is encountered most obviously in the realm of decision-making. Psychologists tend to agree that wisdom 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. It can be acquired only through experience, but by itself, experience does not automatically confer wisdom. Only now are researchers beginning to look into the social, emotional, and cognitive processes that transmute experience into wisdom.

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

Why Do People Think Such Nutty Things?

By Carol S. Pearson Ph.D. on January 22, 2018 in The Hero Within
Fights over conflicting viewpoints, including those between young adults and their parents, are common in life. Now, in the U.S. and elsewhere, the political opinions of different

Choosing to Let in the Light, Even in Winter's Gloom

By John-Manuel Andriote on January 22, 2018 in Stonewall Strong
Winter can be a grim time of cold, snow, and hassle. Or we can choose to let in the light and heed its lessons.

The Disliked Person

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on January 21, 2018 in How To Do Life
An under-considered type of person.

7 Money Tips for Smart People

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on January 17, 2018 in How To Do Life
Advanced but simple tactics for spending and for investing.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

How Mindfulness Can Save the World (Here's One Example)

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on January 16, 2018 in What Matters Most?
A story of a nuclear physicist, a wise mindfulness teacher, and one of the toughest decisions a person can make.

Top 10 Tips for Keeping Your Cool

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on January 15, 2018 in Emotional Fitness
Keeping your wits about you when the kids are acting up, your boss is down on you, and your mate is all over the map can be a challenge. Here are 10 tools to help.

Stories That Heal Primal Wounds

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on January 15, 2018 in Moral Landscapes
Primally wounded people often feel betrayed by their selves, their bodies, their weaknesses. Stories can jar us loose when we get mired in these traps.

Tips for Writing in Psychology

Capturing psychological ideas in writing is not always easy or intuitive. Here are 16 tips for writing in the field of psychology.
Source:  blog eshet

How Can a Modern Woman Integrate Religion Into Her Life?

How one Israeli, Orthodox woman lives a modern life.

Scoring Wisdom

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on January 11, 2018 in Memory Medic
The potential value of wisdom-scoring tests is that they can show people what wisdom is by identifying its specific domains in a tangible way that guides development of wisdom.

The Vital Role Mentors Play in a Student’s Growth

By Tim Elmore on January 11, 2018 in Artificial Maturity
Life change does not occur without life exchange.

You Are Going to Fall in Love With This Person—Really?

By Kevin Bennett on January 10, 2018 in Modern Minds
Will you fall in love with your total opposite? Are cult members dumb, gullible sheep? Answers to these questions and eight other surprises from psychological science.

Science Isn't Just Common Sense

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in Pura Vida
It is widely assumed—by people sympathetic to science—that science necessarily corresponds to our experience and assumptions. Surprise! It's at its best when it doesn't.
Picture by Max Pixel

What Do We Really Know for Sure?

I'm supposed to promise you I have advice for how to make your life better if you read my post. Instead, I try to make a point that no one knows anything, and I don't either.

The Risk and Rewards of Becoming Internet Famous

By Sue Scheff on January 05, 2018 in Shame Nation
Do you want to become Internet famous? A new survey finds a majority of people thinking twice about becoming the next cyber-sensation.

Steve Yarbrough: Reflections on a Lifetime of Waiting

By Jennifer Haupt on January 05, 2018 in One True Thing
Writers write about the things that bother them most—lost love, missed opportunities, and things that should have been said and done but weren’t.

Research Shows Higher Hostile Sexism among Trump Supporters

Research shows that hostile sexism won the day in the 2016 election. Will we continue to permit our society to be governed by bias, leading to avoidable suffering and inequality?

Growing Up and Growing Old

By continuing to live an active life as long as physically possible, the mind intensifies its quest.

Texts and Textiles: Childhood Memories and What They Mean

My mother left school after the eighth grade, as her six sisters and one brother had done, in order to go to work. Yet our house was filled with books.

Nurturing The “Better Angels Of Our Nature”

If we fully embrace ethical values that most people would actually agree to (e.g., the Golden Rule), we might be able to better steer this ship that has steered well off course.
courtesy of Pixabay

Three Tools For Making Lasting Change

Looking for some strategies for personal transformation? When science meets wisdom traditions, the recipe is one for success.

4 Ways to Achieve Meaning and Purpose in Your Life

What really makes happiness last? Having meaning and purpose in your life. Find out the four factors that make up meaning and purpose.
John-Manuel Andriote/photo

Resolved for 2018: Choose Your Words Well

By John-Manuel Andriote on December 29, 2017 in Stonewall Strong
The language we use to tell our personal stories, especially to ourselves, contributes to our resilience--or undermines us.
Jill Wellington/Pixabay

The Best Holiday Present You Can Give Others (and Yourself)

By Vijayeta Sinh Ph.D. on December 24, 2017 in Life in Balance
Write your list, check it twice. Boundaries, self-care, and introspection will make your holiday gift nice.

5 Ways for Couples to Have Great Sex This Holiday Season

By Grant Hilary Brenner M.D. on December 23, 2017 in ExperiMentations
The holidays can bring us closer or drive us apart. Which do you prefer? Here are some helpful tips.

Bringing Emotional Equilibrium To The Holidays

By Dan Mager MSW on December 22, 2017 in Some Assembly Required
Learning to recognize, be present, and make peace with the parts of ourselves we may struggle with makes it possible to be accepting of whatever arises.

Adaptation? It's Way Different For Humans

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on December 21, 2017 in Ambigamy
Adaptation—good fit to reality—is as old as life but very different for humans given our power of language. Here we imagine a beginner's guide for us newfangled language users.


By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on December 21, 2017 in How To Do Life
Whether you choose pure libertarianism, Rawlianism, selfish/contributory balance, or pure hedonism, this article can help you make a conscious choice.

Tales of the Primally Wounded

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on December 20, 2017 in Moral Landscapes
Our ancestors pulled together with stories of cooperation told by the community's storytellers. Today we are pulled apart by fear-promoting stories. Here are some of those stories.

7 Words That Dependent, Adult Children Really Want to Hear!

Are you feeling stuck in the same fruitless communication loop with your adult child? Here are seven words suggested by an adult child that you may just find very helpful.