Wisdom as Expert Knowledge System: A Critical Review of a Contemporary Operationalization of an Ancient Concept.

Ardelt, M. (2004). Human Development. 47(5): 257-285.

Paul B. Baltes and his colleagues, who are among the most prominent contemporary wisdom researchers, define wisdom as 'expert knowledge in the domain fundamental pragmatics of life.' By contrast, this article argues that the definition, operationalization, and measurement of wisdom should not be reduced to expertise and that the term wisdom should be reserved for wise persons rather than expert knowledge. In fact, evidence from their research confirms that Baltes et al. primarily assess expert or intellectual knowledge in the wisdom domain 'fundamental pragmatics of life' rather than how wise people are. As an alternative, a model of wisdom is presented that defines, operationalizes, and measures wisdom as an integration of cognitive, reflective, and affective personality characteristics.

References


  1. Achenbaum, A.W., & Orwoll, L. (1991). Becoming wise: A psycho-gerontological interpretation of the Book of Job. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 32, 21-39.
  2. Ardelt, M. (1997). Wisdom and life satisfaction in old age. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 52B, P15-P27.
  3. Ardelt, M. (1998). Social crisis and individual growth: The long-term effects of the Great Depression. Journal of Aging Studies, 12, 291-314.4.
  4. Ardelt, M. (2000a). Antecedents and effects of wisdom in old age: A longitudinal perspective on aging well. Research on Aging, 22, 360-394.
  5. Ardelt, M. (2000b). Intellectual versus wisdom-related knowledge: The case for a different kind of learning in the later years of life. Educational Gerontology: An International Journal of Research and Practice, 26, 771-789.
  6. Ardelt, M. (2003). Development and empirical assessment of a three-dimensional wisdom scale. Research on Aging, 25, 275-324.
  7. Ardelt, M. (in press). Wisdom, religiosity, purpose in life, and attitudes toward death. In P. Wong, M. McDonald, & D. Klaassen (Eds.), Selected Proceedings on Searching for Meaning in the New Millennium.
  8. Assmann, A. (1994). Wholesome knowledge: Concepts of wisdom in a historical and cross-cultural perspective. In D.L. Featherman, R.M. Lerner, & M. Perlmutter (Eds.), Life-span development and behavior (Vol. 12, pp. 187-224). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  9. Bainbridge, W.S. (1978). Satan's power: Ethnography of a deviant psychotherapy cult. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  10. Baltes, P.B. (1991). The many faces of human ageing: Toward a psychological culture of old age. Psychological Medicine, 21, 837-854.
  11. Baltes, P.B. (1993). The aging mind: Potential and limits. The Gerontologist, 33, 580-594
  12. Baltes, P.B., & Freund, A.M. (2003). The intermarriage of wisdom and selective optimization with compensation: Two meta-heuristics guiding the conduct of life. In C.L.M. Keyes & J. Haidt (Eds.), Flourishing: Positive psychology and the life well-lived (pp. 249-273). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  13. Baltes, P.B., Glueck, J., & Kunzmann, U. (2002). Wisdom: Its structure and function in regulating successful life span development. In C.R. Snyder & S.J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 327-347). London: Oxford University Press.
  14. Baltes, P.B., & Smith, J. (1990). Towards a psychology of wisdom and its ontogenesis. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 87-120). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  15. Baltes, P.B., Smith, J., & Staudinger, U.M. (1992). Wisdom and successful aging. In T. Sonderegger (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation (Vol. 39, pp. 123-167). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
  16. Baltes, P.B., Smith, J., Staudinger, U.M., & Sowarka, D. (1990). Wisdom: One facet of successful aging? In M. Perlmutter (Ed.), Late-life potential (pp. 63-81). Washington, DC: Gerontological Society of America.
  17. Baltes, P.B., & Staudinger, U.M. (1993). The search for a psychology of wisdom. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2, 75-80.
  18. Baltes, P.B., & Staudinger, U.M. (2000). Wisdom: A metaheuristic (pragmatic) to orchestrate mind and virtue toward excellence. American Psychologist, 55, 122-136
  19. Baltes, P.B., Staudinger, U.M., & Lindenberger, U. (1999). Lifespan psychology: Theory and application to intellectual functioning. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 471-507
  20. Baltes, P.B., Staudinger, U.M., Maercker, A., & Smith, J. (1995). People nominated as wise: A comparative study of wisdom-related knowledge. Psychology and Aging, 10, 155-166
  21. Bianchi, E. C. (1994). Elder wisdom. Crafting your own elderhood. New York: Crossroad.
  22. Birren, J. E., & Fisher, L. M. (1990). The elements of wisdom: Overview and integration. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 317-332). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
  23. Blanchard-Fields, F., & Norris, L. (1995). The development of wisdom. In M.A. Kimble, S.H. McFadden, J.W. Ellor, & J.J. Seeber (Eds.), Aging, spirituality, and religion. A handbook (pp. 102-118). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
  24. Blazer, D. (1991). Spirituality and aging well. Generations, 15, 61-65.
  25. Block, J., in collaboration with N. Haan. (1971). Lives through time. Berkeley, CA: Bancroft Books.
  26. Bollen, K.A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  27. Carmody, D.L., & Carmody, J.T. (1994). In the path of the masters. Understanding the spirituality of Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Muhammad. New York: Paragon House.
  28. Cattell, R.B. (1971). Abilities: Their structure, growth, and action. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
  29. Chandler, M.J., & Holliday, S. (1990). Wisdom in a postapocalyptic age. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 121-141). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
  30. Charness, N., & Bosman, E.A. (1990). Expertise and aging: Life in the lab. In T.M. Hess (Ed.), Aging and cognition: Knowledge organization and utilization (pp. 343-385). Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. (North-Holland).
  31. Chinen, A.B. (1984). Modal logic: A new paradigm of development and late-life potential. Human Development, 27, 42-56.
  32. Clayton, V. (1982). Wisdom and intelligence: The nature and function of knowledge in the later years. International Journal of Aging and Development, 15, 315-323.
  33. Clayton, V.P., & Birren, J.E. (1980). The development of wisdom across the life-span: A reexamination of an ancient topic. In P.B. Baltes & O.G. Brim Jr. (Eds.), Life-span development and behavior (Vol. 3, pp. 103-135). New York: Academic Press.
  34. Costa, P.T., & McCrae, R.R. (1992). Trait psychology comes of age. In T.B. Sonderegger et al. (Eds.), Nebraska symposium on motivation 1991: Psychology and aging. Current theory and research in motivation (Vol. 39, pp. 169-204). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
  35. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Rathunde, K. (1990). The psychology of wisdom: An evolutionary interpretation. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 25-51). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  36. DeVellis, R.F. (1991). Scale development. Theory and applications. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
  37. Dittmann-Kohli, F., & Baltes, P.B. (1990). Toward a neofunctionalist conception of adult intellectual development: Wisdom as a prototypical case of intellectual growth. In C.N. Alexander & E.J. Langer (Eds.), Higher stages of human development. Perspectives on adult growth (pp. 54-78). New York: Oxford University Press.
  38. Erikson, E.H. (1963). Childhood and society. New York: Norton
  39. Erikson, E.H. (1982). The life cycle completed. A review. New York: Norton.
  40. Erikson, E.H., Erikson, J.M., & Kivnick, H.Q. (1986). Vital involvement in old age: The experience of old age in our time. New York: Norton.
  41. Fromm, E. (1976). To have or to be? New York: Harper and Row.
  42. Gadamer, H.-G. (1960). Wahrheit und Methode. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik [Truth and method. Outline of a philosophical hermeneutics]. Tübingen: Mohr.
  43. Glendenning, F. (1995). Education for older adults: Lifelong learning, empowerment, and social change. In J.F. Nussbaum & J. Coupland (Eds.), The handbook of communication and aging research (pp. 467-498). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  44. Haan, N. (1969). A tripartite model of ego functioning: Values and clinical research applications. Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 148, 14-30.
  45. Hanna, F.J., & Ottens, A.J. (1995). The role of wisdom in psychotherapy. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 5, 195-219.
  46. Hart, W. (1987). The art of living. Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka. San Francisco: Harper.
  47. Hattie, J.A., Sharpley, C.F., & Rogers, H.J. (1984). Comparative effectiveness of professional and paraprofessional helpers. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 534-541.
  48. Helson, R., & Srivastava, S. (2002). Creative and wise people: Similarities, differences and how they develop. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1430-1440.
  49. Hira, F.J., & Faulkender, P.J. (1997). Perceiving wisdom: Do age and gender play a part? International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 44, 85-101.
  50. Holliday, S.G., & Chandler, M.J. (1986). Wisdom: Explorations in adult competence. Basel: Karger.
  51. Horn, J.L. (1970). Organization of data on life-span development of human abilities. In L.R. Goulet & P.B. Baltes (Eds.), Life-span developmental psychology: research and theory (pp. 423-466). New York: Academic Press.
  52. Jarvis, P. (1992). Paradoxes of learning: On becoming an individual in society. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  53. Jöreskog, K.G., & Sörbom, D. (1996). LISREL 8: User's reference guide (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: Scientific Software International.
  54. Jung, C.G. (1971). The stage of life. In J. Campbell (Ed.), The portable Jung. New York: Penguin Books.
  55. Kekes, J. (1983). Wisdom. American Philosophical Quarterly, 20, 277-286.
  56. Kekes, J. (1995). Moral wisdom and good lives. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press
  57. Kramer, D.A. (1990). Conceptualizing wisdom: The primacy of affect-cognition relations. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 279-313). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  58. Kramer, D.A. (2000). Wisdom as a classical source of human strength: Conceptualization and empirical inquiry. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19, 83-101.
  59. Kunzmann, U., & Baltes, P.B. (2003). Beyond the traditional scope of intelligence: Wisdom in action. In R.J. Sternberg, J. Lautrey, et al. (Eds.), Models of intelligence: International perspectives (pp. 329-343). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  60. Labouvie-Vief, G. (1990). Wisdom as integrated thought: Historical and developmental perspectives. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 52-83). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  61. Levenson, M.R., & Crumpler, C.A. (1996). Three models of adult development. Human Development, 39, 135-149
  62. Levitt, H.M. (1999). The development of wisdom: An analysis of Tibetan Buddhist experience. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 39, 86-105
  63. Maas, H.S., & Kuypers, J.A. (1974). From thirty to seventy. A forty-year longitudinal study of adult life styles and personality. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  64. Maercker, A., Böhmig-Krumhaar, S.A., & Staudinger, U.M. (1998). Existentielle Konfrontation als Zugang zu weisheitsbezogenem Wissen und Urteilen: Eine Untersuchung von Weisheitsnominierten [Existential confrontation as access to wisdom-related knowledge and judgment: A study of wisdom nominees]. Zeitschrift für Entwicklungspsychologie und Pädagogische Psychologie, 30, 2-11.
  65. Manheimer, R.J. (1992). Wisdom and method: Philosophical contributions to gerontology. In T.R. Cole, D.D. Van Tassel, & R. Kastenbaum (Eds.), Handbook of the humanities and aging (pp. 426-440). New York: Springer.
  66. Maslow, A.H. (1970). Motivation and personality (2nd ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
  67. Maslow, A.H. (1971). The farther reaches of human nature. New York: The Viking Press.
  68. McCarthy, E.D. (1996). Knowledge as culture. New York: Routledge.
  69. Moody, H.R. (1986). Late life learning in the information society. In D.A. Peterson, J.E. Thornton, & J.E. Birren (Eds.), Education and aging (pp. 122-148). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  70. Nanamoli, B. (2001). The life of the Buddha. According to the Pali Canon. Seattle, WA: BPS Pariyatti Editions.
  71. Naranjo, C. (1972). The one quest. New York: The Viking Press.
  72. Orwoll, L., & Achenbaum, W.A. (1993). Gender and the development of wisdom. Human Development, 36, 274-296.
  73. Orwoll, L., & Perlmutter, M. (1990). The study of wise persons: Integrating a personality perspective. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 160-177). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  74. Pascual-Leone, J. (1990). An essay on wisdom: Toward organismic processes that make it possible. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 244-278). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  75. Pasupathi, M., & Staudinger, U.M. (2001). Do advanced moral reasoners also show wisdom? Linking moral reasoning and wisdom-related knowledge and judgement. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 25, 401-415.
  76. Pasupathi, M., Staudinger, U.M., & Baltes, P.B. (2001). Seeds of wisdom: Adolescents' knowledge and judgment about difficult life problems. Developmental Psychology, 37, 351-361.
  77. Randall, W.L., & Kenyon, G.M. (2001). Ordinary wisdom: Biographical aging and the journey of life. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  78. Rathunde, K. (1995). Wisdom and abiding interest: Interviews with three noted historians in later life. Journal of Adult Development, 2, 159-172.
  79. Ryff, C.D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1069-1081.
  80. Salthouse, T.A. (1991). Theoretical perspectives on cognitive aging. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  81. Schmidbauer, W. (1977). Die hilflosen Helfer. Über die seelische Problematik der helfenden Berufe [Helpless helpers. On the emotional difficulty of helper professions]. Hamburg: Rowohlt.
  82. Seligman, M.E.P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14.
  83. Smith, J., & Baltes, P.B. (1990). Wisdom-related knowledge: Age/cohort differences in response to life-planning problems. Developmental Psychology, 26, 494-505.
  84. Smith, J., Staudinger, U.M., & Baltes, P.B. (1994). Occupational settings facilitating wisdom-related knowledge: The sample case of clinical psychologists. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 989-999.
  85. Staudinger, U.M. (1999). Older and wiser? Integrating results on the relationship between age and wisdom-related performance. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 23, 641-664.
  86. Staudinger, U.M., & Baltes, P.B. (1996). Interactive minds: A facilitative setting for wisdom-related performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 746-762.
  87. Staudinger, U.M., Lopez, D.F., & Baltes, P.B. (1997). The psychometric location of wisdom-related performance: Intelligence, personality, and more? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 1200-1214
  88. Staudinger, U.M., Maciel, A.G., Smith, J., & Baltes, P.B. (1998). What predicts wisdom-related performance? A first look at personality, intelligence, and facilitative experiential contexts. European Journal of Personality, 12, 1-17.
  89. Staudinger, U.M., Smith, J., & Baltes, P.B. (1992). Wisdom-related knowledge in a life review task: Age differences and the role of professional specialization. Psychology and Aging, 7, 271-281.
  90. Sternberg, R.J. (1990a). Wisdom and its relations to intelligence and creativity. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 142-159). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  91. Sternberg, R.J. (Ed.). (1990b). Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  92. Sternberg, R.J. (1998). A balance theory of wisdom. Review of General Psychology, 2, 347-365
  93. Strijbos, S. (1995). How can systems thinking help us in bridging the gap between science and wisdom? Systems Practice, 8, 361-376
  94. Taranto, M.A. (1989). Facets of wisdom: A theoretical synthesis. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 29, 1-21.
  95. Vaillant, G.E. (1993). The wisdom of the ego. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  96. Weber, M. (1973). Soziologie. Universalgeschichtliche Analysen. Politik [Sociology. Universal historical analyses. Politics] (5th revised ed.). Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner.
  97. Weber, M. (1980). Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Grundriss der verstehenden Soziologie [Economy and society. An outline of interpretive sociology] (5th revised ed.). Tübingen: Mohr.
  98. Webster, J.D. (2003). An exploratory analysis of a self-assessed wisdom scale. Journal of Adult Development, 10, 13-22
  99. Weinsheimer, J.C. (1985). Gadamer's hermeneutics: A reading of truth and method. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  100. Wink, P., & Helson, R. (1997). Practical and transcendent wisdom: Their nature and some longitudinal findings. Journal of Adult Development, 4, 1-15.

 



(Something interesting I found)Posted:Jan 09 2004, 12:00 AM by Anonymous
Join the Network    
Users are able to post wisdom-related news & publications, maintain a profile, and participate in discussion forums.

Sort By