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Recent Publications
Academic leadership in higher education: From the top down and the bottom up
Edited book Edited by Robert Sternberg, Elizabeth Davis, April C. Mason, Robert V. Smith, Jeffery Vitter, and Michele Wheatly Summary: "Now what should I do?" This is a question academic leaders ask themselves with great regularity. As ironic as it may...
What is Human Wisdom?: An Interrogation of Posthuman Futures in Transhuman Evolutionary Discourse
Deane-Drummond, C. (2009). What is Human Wisdom?: An Interrogation of Posthuman Futures in Transhuman Evolutionary Discourse. The Global Spiral, 10 (2). Excerpt: " Transhumanism is the view that humans should be permitted to use technology in order to re-make human nature, offered as the next stage in human evolution. It differs from posthumanism in as much as posthumanity is largely concerned with...
Inferior Parietal Lobule Supports Decision Making under Uncertainty in Humans
Vickery, T. J., & Jiang, Y. V. (2009). Inferior Parietal Lobule Supports Decision Making under Uncertainty in Humans. Cerebral Cortex, 19 (4): 916-925. Abstract: The optimal responses for many decisions faced by humans are ill defined, yet we are able to choose well by associating choices with outcomes, and employing this information in decision making.Previous studies suggest that the parietal cortex...
Spontaneous planning for future stone throwing by a male chimpanzee
Osvath, M. (2009). Spontaneous planning for future stone throwing by a male chimpanzee. Current Biology, 19 (5): R190-R191. Abstract: Planning for a future, rather than a current, mental state is a cognitive process generally viewed as uniquely human. Here, however, I shall report on a decade of observations of spontaneous planning by a male chimpanzee in a zoo. The planning...
Decisions 2.0: The Power of Collective Intelligence
Bonabeau, E. (2009). Decisions 2.0: The Power of Collective Intelligence. MIT Sloan Management Review, 50 (2): 45-52. "The human brain is a magnificent instrument that has evolved over thousands of years to enable us to prosper in an impressive range of conditions. But it is wired to avoid complexity (not embrace it) and to respond quickly to ensure survival (not...
Cognitive load selectively interferes with utilitarian moral judgment
Greene, J. D., Morelli, S. A., Lowenberg, K., Nystrom, L. E., Cohen, J. D. (2008). Cognition, Vol. 107, 1144-54. Abstract: Traditional theories of moral development emphasize the role of controlled cognition in mature moral judgment, while a more recent trend emphasizes intuitive and emotional processes. Here we test a dual-process theory synthesizing these perspectives...
Forgotten but not gone: The recall and recognition of self-threatening memories
Green, J. D., Sedikides, C., & Gregg, A. P. (2008). Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 547-61. Abstract: When people selectively forget feedback that threatens the self ( mnemic neglect ), are those memories permanently lost or potentially recoverable? In two experiments, participants processed feedback pertaining either to themselves or to another...
Ecology of Wisdom: Writings by Arne Naess
Naess, A. (2008). Counterpoint. A founder of the Deep Ecology Movement, Arne Naess' has produced articles on environmentalism that have provided unmatched inspiration for ecologists, philosophers, and activists worldwide. This collection amasses a definitive group of Naess'...
The wisdom hierarchy: representations of the DIKW hierarchy
Rowley, J. (2007). Journal of Information Science. 33(2): 163-180. This paper revisits the data-information-knowledge- wisdom (DIKW) hierarchy by examining the articulation of the hierarchy in a number of widely read textbooks, and analysing their statements about the nature of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom...
Measuring the Character Strength of Wisdom
Webster, J.D. (2007). International Journal of Aging & Human Development. 65(2): 163-183. This study examined the psychosocial correlates and psychometric properties of the Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale (SAWS) (Webster, 2003 a). Seventy-three men and 98 women ranging in age from 17-92 years (Mean age = 42.77) completed an expanded, 40-item version...
A Systems Model of Leadership: WICS
Sternberg, R.J. (Jan 2007). American Psychologist. 62(1): 34-42. This article reviews a systems model of leadership. According to the model, effective leadership is a synthesis of wisdom, creativity, and intelligence (WICS). It is in large part a decision about how to marshal and deploy these resources. One needs creativity...
Psychosocial Development and Leader Performance of Military Officer Cadets
Bartone, P.T., Snook, S.A., Forsythe, G.B., et al. (2007). Leadership Quarterly. 18(5): 490-504. Efforts to educate and develop future military officers aim to produce highly competent, ethical and effective leaders to serve the nation. But while there is general agreement about desired outcomes, the underlying developmental processes associated...
Pattern and Variable Approaches in Leadership Emergence and Effectiveness
Foti, R.J., & Hauenstein, N.M.A. (March 2007). Pattern and variable approaches in leadership emergence and effectiveness. Journal of Applied Psychology. 92(2): 347-355. This study examined variable and pattern approaches to studying the influence of individual differences on both leadership emergence and leader effectiveness. Emergent leaders were identified and then followed for 9 months of effectiveness data gathering...
Sages at the Games: Intellectual Displays and Dissemination of Wisdom in Ancient Greece
Tell, H. (2007). Classical Antiquity. 26(2): 249-276. This paper explores the role the Panhellenic centers played in facilitating the circulation of wisdom in ancient Greece. It argues that there are substantial thematic overlaps among practitioners of wisdom (sigma omicron phi omicron l), who are typically...
Plumbing the Depths: A Recovery of Natural Law and Natural Wisdom in the Context of Debates About Evolutionary Purpose
Deane-Drummond, C. (2007). Zygon. 42(4): 981-998. Deane-Drummond argues that the theological traditions of natural law and wisdom offer helpful meeting points in discussions about evolutionary "purpose" and contingency in relation to theological purpose, and serve to form the basis for a theology...
Social Intelligence, Human Intelligence and Niche Construction
Sterelny, K. (2007). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 362(1480): 719-730. This paper is about the evolution of hominin intelligence. I agree with defenders of the social intelligence hypothesis in thinking that externalist models of hominin intelligence are not plausible: such models cannot explain the unique cognition and...
Divine Wisdom and Dolorous Mysteries: Habsburg Marian Devotion in Two Motets from Monteverdi's 'Selva Morale et Spirituale' (Claudio Monteverdi)
Weaver, A.H. (2007). Journal of Musicology. 24(2): 237-271. Despite recent scholarly interest in Monteverdi's Selva morale et spirituale (1641), many aspects of this large, complex print remain enigmatic, and the intended context for much of the music in the collection has long been a matter of pure conjecture...
Wonder and Wisdom: Conversations in Science, Spirituality and Theology
Deane-Drummond, C. (2006). John Templeton Foundation Press. Contemporary debate suggests that religious belief defies 21st century science and knowledge. Yet in her new and thought-provoking book, Celia Deane-Drummond explores the twin themes of wonder and wisdom and examines their importance in tracing a spirituality...
Music in the Service of Counter-Reformation Politics: The Immaculate Conception at the Habsburg Court of Ferdinand III (1637-1657)
Weaver, A.H. (2006). Music & Letters. 87(3): 361-378. During the tumultuous final decade of the Thirty Years War, the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III used music as an important tool to further his religious and political agendas. Using the political ramifications of the emperor's public devotion to...
What Cultural Primatology Can Tell Anthropologists About the Evolution of Culture
Perry, S.E. (2006). What cultural primatology can tell anthropologists about the evolution of culture. Annual Review of Anthropology. Vol. 35: 171-190. This review traces the development of the field of cultural primatology from its origins in Japan in the 1950s to the present. The field has experienced a number of theoretical and methodological influences from diverse fields, including comparative experimental...
Using the Concept of Wisdom to Enhance the Expression of Wisdom Knowledge: Not the Philosopher’s Dream but Differential Effects of Developmental Preparedness
Gluck, J., & Baltes, P.B. (2006). Using the concept of wisdom to enhance the expression of wisdom knowledge: Not the philosopher’s dream but differential effects of developmental preparedness. Psychology and Aging. 21(4): 679-690. In this study, the authors explored whether wisdom-related performance could be enhanced by an instruction referring to the abstract concept of wisdom ("try to give a wise response"). The authors used three levels of activation of the concept...
Viewpoint: The Economics of Hunter-Gatherer Societies and the Evolution of Human Characteristics
Robson, A.J. & Kaplan, H.S. (2006). Viewpoint: The economics of hunter-gatherer societies and the evolution of human characteristics. Canadian Journal of Economics-Revue. 39(2): 375-398. We argue for attention to the evolutionary origins of economic behavior. Going beyond this, we argue that the economy of hunting and gathering was the context in which evolution shaped human characteristics that underlie modern economic behavior. We first...
Innovation in Wild Bornean Orangutans (Pongo Pygmaeus Wurmbii)
van Schaik, C.P., van Noordwijk, M.A., & Wich, S.A. (2006). Innovation in wild Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii). Behaviour. 143(7): 839-876. In most studies to date, innovations were studied if their origination was witnessed or if they arose in response to a pronounced environmental change, making it difficult to generalize. In this study, we use an operational definition developed by Ramsey...
The Wisdom Experience: Autobiographical Narratives Across Adulthood
Gluck, J., Bluck, S., Baron, J., et al. (2005). The wisdom experience: Autobiographical narratives across adulthood. International Journal of Behavioral Development. 29(3): 197-208. This research uses an autobiographical approach to examine the relation of age to several aspects of wisdom. In Study 1 (N = 86), adolescents', young adults', and older adults' wisdom narratives were content-coded for the types of life situations...
Virtue and Psychology: Pursuing Excellence in Ordinary Practices
Fowers, B. J. (2005). Virtue and Psychology: Pursuing Excellence in Ordinary Practices. Washington, DC: APA Press. Virtue and Psychology: Pursuing Excellence in Ordinary Practices issues a clarion call for psychologists and other mental health professionals to recognize the reality of virtue in social interaction. Virtues are character strengths such as generosity...
The Wisdom of Crowds
Surowiecki, J. (2005). New York, NY: Doubleday Random House, Inc. "No one in this world, so far as I know, has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." -H. L. Mencken H. L. Mencken was wrong. In this endlessly fascinating book, New Yorker columnist James...
WICS: A Model of Positive Educational Leadership Comprising Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized
Sternberg, RJ. (Sept 2005). WICS: A model of positive educational leadership comprising wisdom, intelligence, and creativity synthesized. Educational Psychology Review. 17(3): 191-262. Who are the people who become positive educational leaders? This essay presents WICS as a model of positive educational leadership. WICS stands for wisdom , intelligence, creativity, synthesized. Each of these elements is asserted to constitute one of...
Mnemic neglect and self-threat: Trait modifiability moderates self-protection
Green, J. D., Pinter, B., & Sedikides, C. (2005). European Journal of Social Psychology, 35, 225-35. The mnemic neglect effect is the phenomenon of disproportionately poor recall for threatening (rather than non-threatening) feedback that refers to the self (rather than another person). Does trait modifiability moderate mnemic neglect? We hypothesized...
Images of Bach in the Perspective of Basic Research and Interpretative Scholarship
Wolff, C. (2005). Journal of Musicology. 22(4): 503-520. Beginning with remarks on the complementary functions of basic research and interpretive scholarship, the first part of the essay focuses on varying concepts, of Bach images, discusses authentic and unauthentic Bach portraits as well as images of the...
The neural bases of cognitive conflict and control in moral judgment
Greene, J. D., Nystrom, L. E., Engell, A. D., Darley, J. M., Cohen, J. D. (2004). Neuron, Vol 44, 389-400. Traditional theories of moral psychology emphasize reasoning and "higher cognition," while more recent work emphasizes the role of emotion. The present fMRI data support a theory of moral judgment according to which both "cognitive"...
What I Don't Recall Can't Hurt Me: Information Negativity Versus Information Inconsistency As Determinants of Memorial Self-defense
Sedikides, C., & Green, J. D. (2004). Social Cognition, 22, 4-29. According to the mnemic neglect model, people are threatened by feedback that has unfavorable implications for their central self-aspects, and, as a result, they recall it poorly. What is the locus of such poor recall (i.e., mnemic neglect)? Experiment...
The Two Faces of Wisdom: Wisdom as a General Theory of Knowledge and Judgment About Excellence in Mind and Virtue vs. Wisdom as Everyday Realization in People and Products
Baltes, P.B. & Kunzmann, U. (2004). The two faces of wisdom: Wisdom as a general theory of knowledge and judgment about excellence in mind and virtue vs. wisdom as everyday realization in people and products. Human Development. 47(5): 290-299. There are several legitimate ways of conceptualizing and studying wisdom . One is largely informed by Western philosophy and treats wisdom as an analytic theory of expert knowledge, judgment, and advice about difficult and uncertain matters of life. Another...
Why Smart People Can Be So Foolish
Sternberg, RJ. (Sept 2004). Why smart people can be so foolish. European Psychologist. 9(3): 145-150. Not only stupid people act foolishly: Smart people can act foolishly by virtue of their thinking they are too smart to do so. Such people tend to act foolishly through the commission of one or more of five cognitive fallacies: (1) unrealistic optimism...
Time, Story, and Wisdom: Emerging Themes in Narrative Gerontology
Randall, W.L. & Kenyon, G.M. (2004). Time, story, and wisdom: Emerging themes in narrative gerontology. Canadian Journal on Aging. 23(4): 333-346. Narrative approaches in the field of aging are receiving increasing attention by theorists and practitioners alike. This article draws on recent thinking in narrative gerontology to look at three aspects of aging on which a narrative perspective can shed...
The transformational experience of insight: A life-changing event
Levitt, H., Frankel, Z., Hiestand, K., Ware, K., Bretz, K., Kelly, R., McGee, S., Nordtvedt, R., & Raina, K. (2004). The transformational experience of insight: A life-changing event. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 17, 1-26. The present study produces a model of insight, as generated by a grounded theory analysis of interviews with individuals who have reported experiencing life-altering insights. This model describes the initiation, unfolding, and manifestation of the insight...
Empirical Assessment of a Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale
Ardelt, M. (2003). Empirical assessment of a three-dimensional wisdom scale. Research on Aging, 25(3): 275-324. Although wisdom is thought to be a strong predictor for many attributes of aging well, the concept of wisdom still lacks a comprehensive, directly testable scale. Quantitative and qualitative interviews with a.sample of 180 older adults (age 52-plus)...
The "Culture of Swing" as a "Double-Bottom" of Youthful Feeling of Life Under the Nazi Dictatorship
Reinecke, H.P. (2003). The "culture of swing" as a "double-bottom" of youthful feeling of life under the Nazi dictatorship. International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music. 34(1): 3-15. How was it possible during the Nazi dictatorship for a self-confident individual to avoid the cultural "Gleichschaltung" without turning completely towards one's own inside? Based on some reflections, certain psychological backgrounds will...
A Model for Tool-Use Traditions in Primates: Implications for the Coevolution of Culture and Cognition
van Schaik, C.P. & Pradhan, G.R. (2003). A model for tool-use traditions in primates: Implications for the coevolution of culture and cognition. Journal of Human Evolution. 44(6): 645-664. Inspired by the demonstration that tool-use variants among wild chimpanzees and orangutans qualify as traditions (or cultures), we developed a formal model to predict the incidence of these acquired specializations among wild primates and to examine the...
Innovation and Social Learning: Individual Variation and Brain Evolution
Reader, S.M. (2003). Innovation and social learning: individual variation and brain evolution. Animal Biology. 53(2): 147-158. This paper reviews behavioural, neurological and cognitive correlates of innovation at the individual, population and species level, focusing on birds and primates. Innovation, new or modified learned behaviour not previously found in the population,...
Identifying and Assessing Tacit Knowledge: Understanding the Practical Intelligence of Military Leaders
Hedlund, J., Forsythe, G.B., Horvath, J.A., et al. (2003). Identifying and assessing tacit knowledge: Understanding the practical intelligence of military leaders. Leadership Quarterly. 14(2): 117-140. Tacit knowledge (TK) is knowledge drawn from everyday experience that helps individuals to solve real-world, practical problems. This study applied a method for identifying and assessing TK to the domain of military leadership in order to understand why...
Nyansapo (The Wisdom Knot): Toward an African Philosophy of Education
Okrah, K.A. (2003). Nyansapo (The Wisdom Knot): Toward an African Philosophy of Education. Routledge. This study examines the issues of indigenous philosophies, which are embedded in different aspects of socialization process among the Akan of Ghana. The research explores the possibility of forging a new future that builds on the positive aspects of their...
Reason and Human Finitude: In Praise of Practical Wisdom
Fowers, B. J. (2003). Reason and human finitude: In praise of practical wisdom. American Behavioral Scientist, 47, 415-426. Phronesis, or practical wisdom, is central to virtue ethics because choosing the best course of action cannot be reduced to an algorithm. Phronesis is the capacity to make wise decisions regarding which virtues are called for in particular circumstances...
Wisdom-related Knowledge: Affective, Motivational, and Interpersonal Correlates
Kunzmann, U. & Baltes, P.B. (2003). Wisdom-related knowledge: Affective, motivational, and interpersonal correlates. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 29(9): 1104-1119. This study investigated the connection between wisdom as a body of expert knowledge about the meaning and conduct of life and indicators of affective, motivational, and interpersonal functioning. Structural equation analyses showed that individuals higher...
Correlates of Wisdom-related Performance in Adolescence and Adulthood: Age-related Differences in “Paths” Toward Desirable Development
Staudinger, U.M. & Pasupathi, M. (2003). Correlates of wisdom-related performance in adolescence and adulthood: Age-related differences in “paths” toward desirable development. Journal of Research on Adolescence. 13(3): 239-268. Across time and cultures, wisdom has been nominated as the ideal endpoint of development. Evidence suggests that the beginnings of wisdom are observed in adolescence. But are the correlates of wisdom -related performance in adolescence different from...
How (and where) does moral judgment work?
Greene, J. and Haidt, J. (2002). How (and where) does moral judgment work? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6(12), 517-23. Moral psychology has long focused on reasoning, but recent evidence suggests that moral judgment is more a matter of emotion and affective intuition than deliberate reasoning. Here we discuss recent findings in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, including...
Wisdom: A Culturally Inclusive Developmental Perspective
Takahashi, M. & Overton, W.F. (2002). Wisdom: A culturally inclusive developmental perspective. International Journal of Behavioral Developmental. 26(3): 269-277. This study examines cross-cultural age-related patterns of two modes of wisdom : the analytical (i.e., Knowledge Database, Abstract Reasoning), and the synthetic (i.e., Reflective Understanding, Emotional Empathy, and Emotional Regulation). A total of...
Wisdom from world religions: Pathways toward heaven on Earth.
Templeton, Sir John . 2002. Wisdom from world religions. Pathways toward heaven on Earth. John Templeton Foundation Press. Particularly suited for young people, this book brings spiritual laws to life through engaging stories and anecdotes. Wisdom from World Religions: Pathways toward Heaven on Earth is designed to offer people of all ages and all nations an opportunity to...
Why Schools Should Teach for Wisdom: The Balance Theory of Wisdom in Educational Settings
Sternberg, RJ. (Fall 2001). Why schools should teach for wisdom: The balance theory of wisdom in educational settings. Educational Psychologist. 36(4): 227-245. This article describes a balance theory of wisdom and applies the theory to the context of schooling. First, the article discusses why intelligence-related skills are an important, but not a sufficient, basis for education. Second, the article briefly...
Seeds of Wisdom: Adolescents' Knowledge and Judgment About Difficult Life Problems
Pasupathi, M., Staudinger, U.M., & Baltes, P.B. (May 2001). Seeds of wisdom: Adolescents' knowledge and judgment about difficult life problems. Developmental Psychology. 37(3) 351-361. The present study examined adolescents' wisdom-related knowledge and judgment with a heterogeneous sample of 146 adolescents (ages 14-20 years) and a comparison sample of 58 young adults (ages 21-37 years). Participants responded to difficult and...
Wisdom: A Metaheuristic (Pragmatic) to Orchestrate Mind and Virtue Toward Excellence
Baltes, P.B. & Staudinger, U.M. (Jan 2000). Wisdom: A metaheuristic (pragmatic) to orchestrate mind and virtue toward excellence. American Psychologist. 55(1) 122-136. The primary focus of this article is on the presentation of wisdom research conducted under the heading of the Berlin wisdom paradigm. Informed by a cultural-historical analysis, wisdom in this paradigm is defined as an expert knowledge system concerning...
Positive Psychology – An Introduction
Seligman, M.E.P. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology – an introduction. American Psychologist. 55(1): 5-14. A science of positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions promises to improve quality of life and prevent the pathologies that arise when life is barren and meaningless. The exclusive focus on pathology that has...
Toward a Culturally Inclusive Understanding of Wisdom: Historical Roots in the East and West
Takahashi, M. (2000). Toward a culturally inclusive understanding of wisdom: Historical roots in the east and west. International Journal of Aging & Human Development. 51(3): 217-230. To establish a clearer definition of wisdom as a psychological concept, Western and Eastern historical literatures were reviewed and assessed within a general analytical/synthetic framework. In the West, either in an ancient Egyptian, biblical, or philosophical...
The Concept of Wisdom: A Cross-cultural Comparison
Takahashi, M. & Bordia, P. (2000). The concept of wisdom: A cross-cultural comparison. International Journal of Psychology. 35(1): 1-9. To examine the meaning of wisdom cross-culturally American, Australian, Indian, and Japanese samples judged the similarity of seven personality descriptors: "aged," "awakened," "discreet," "experienced," "intuitive...
Mental Attention, Consciousness, and the Progressive Emergence of Wisdom
Pascual-Leone, J. (2000). Mental attention, consciousness, and the progressive emergence of wisdom. Journal of Adult Development. 7(4): 241-254. Mental-attentional mechanisms of consciousness, meditation, and the emergence of wisdom are discussed . A developmental (neo-Piagetian), dynamic flash-light model of mental attention is used. The initial stages of consciousness in infancy are modeled...
The Anthropology of Wisdom Literature
Kaufmann, W.O. (1996). Greenwood Publishing Group. This unusual book examines definitions of the fable, apologue, parable, moral tale, etc. It then proposes the use of the term exemplum, used by medieval scribes, to define all types of wisdom narratives. It makes a cross-cultural structural analysis of...
Interactive Minds: Life-span Perspectives on the Social Foundation of Cognition
Baltes, P. B., & Staudinger, U. M. 1996. Interactive Minds: Life-span Perspectives on the Social Foundation of Cognition. New York: Cambridge University Press. Various theoretical models in psychology have emphasized the social foundation of the mind and the role that social interactions play in human development. Interactive Minds emphasizes social transaction and communication between minds without implying...
Interactive Minds: Life-span Perspectives on the Social Foundation of Cognition
Baltes, P. B., & Staudinger, U. M. 1996. Interactive Minds: Life-span Perspectives on the Social Foundation of Cognition. New York: Cambridge University Press. Various theoretical models in psychology have emphasized the social foundation of the mind and the role that social interactions play in human development. Interactive Minds emphasizes social transaction and communication between minds without implying...
Higher Stages of Human Development: Perspectives on Adult Growth
Alexander, C. N., & Langer, E. J. 1990. Higher Stages of Human Development: Perspectives on Adult Growth. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Can significant advances in development occur after adolescence? What are the highest possible states or stages of human development and how can they be realized? These and related critical issues are addressed in this volume by leading researchers and...
Wisdom: Its Nature, Origins, and Development
Sternberg, R. J. 1990. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This authoritative volume represents the only complete collection of psychological views on wisdom currently available. Considered an elusive psychological construct until recently, wisdom is currently attracting interest as an independent field. The...
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