Wisdom Tools & Measures

Wisdom Scales & Measures

Find selected publications on wisdom measurement, subcomponents of wisdom & wisdom related tasks & measures!

A new scale for assessing wisdom based on common domains and a neurobiological model: The San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE)  
Thomas, M. L., Bangen, K. J., Palmer, B.W., ...& Jeste, D. (2017). A new scale for assessing wisdom based on common domains and a neurobiological model: The San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-Wise). Journal of Psychiatric Research, 1-8. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.09.005 [link]

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. [link]

Wisdom: A metaheuristic (pragmatic) to orchestrate mind and virtue toward excellence
Baltes, P. B., & Staudinger, U. M. (2000). Wisdom: A metaheuristic (pragmatic) to orchestrate mind and virtue toward excellence. American Psychologist, 55, 122-136. [pdf]

Wisdom-related Tasks
Staudinger, U.M. & Baltes, P.B. (1996). Interactive minds: A facilitative setting for wisdom-related performance? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71(4), 746-762. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.71.4.746 [link]

  • Appendices include three problem texts: Suicide Problem, Meaning-of-life Problem, and the Family Problem.

How to measure wisdom: Content, reliability, and validity of five measures
Glück, J., König, S., Naschenweng, K., Redzanowski, U., Dorner, L., Straβer, I. & Wiedermann, W. (2013). How to measure wisdom: Content, reliability, and validity of five measures. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 405. [link]

Self-Transcendence: Conceptualization and Measurement
Levenson, M.R., Jennings, P.A., Aldwin, C.M., & Shiraishi, R.W. (2005). Self-Transcendence: Conceptualization and Measurement. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 60(2), 127-143. [pdf]

Comparing the Psychometric Properties of Two Measures of Wisdom
Taylor, M., Bates, G., & Webster, J.D. (2011). Comparing the Psychometric Properties of Two Measures of Wisdom: Predicting Forgiveness and Psychological Well-Being with the Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale (SAWS) and the Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (3D-WS). Experimental Aging Research, 37(2), 129-41. [link]

Measuring the character strength of wisdom
Webster, J.D. (2007). Measuring the character strength of wisdom. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 65(2), 163-183. [link]

Wise-Reasoning Questions
Grossmann, I., & Kross, E. (2014). Exploring "Solomon's paradox": Self-distancing eliminates the self-other asymmetry in wise reasoning about close relations in younger and older adults. Psychological Science, 1-10. [link]

  • See Table 1. Wise-Reasoning Questions Used in Studies 1 Through 3. Wise reasoning questions are grouped in four categories: 1. Recognition of the limits of one's own knowledge; 2. Search for a compromise; 3. Consideration of other people's perspectives; and 4. Recognition of change/multiple ways the events may unfold.
  • The Wise Reasoning Technical manual can be found at this [link]

Situated Wise Reasoning Scale (SWIS)

Brienza, J. P., Kung, F., Santos, H. C., Bobocel, D. R, & Grossmann, I. (2017). Wisdom, bias, and balance: Toward a process-sensitive measurement of wisdom-related cognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000171 [link]

Defining and assessing wisdom: A review of the literature
Bangen K.J., Meeks, T.W., & Jeste, D.V. (2013). Defining and assessing wisdom: A review of the literature. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21(12), 1254-1266. [link]

  • "Commonly cited subcomponents of wisdom included knowledge of life, prosocial values, self-understanding, acknowledgment of uncertainty, emotional homeostasis, tolerance, openness, spirituality, and sense of humor."


Emotion Regulation Questionnaire
Gross, J. J. & John, O. P. (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 348-362. [link]

  • This questionnaire includes 10 items answered on a 7-point Likert scale. It addresses the degree to which individuals rely on strategies of suppression and reappraisal in regulating their emotions. The Emotion Regulation Questionnaire is available in multiple languages. Click here

Emotion Contagion Scale
Doherty, R. W. (1997). The Emotional contagion scale: A measure of individual differences. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 21, pp. 131-154. [link]

  • The Emotional Contagion Scale is a 15-item index that aims to measure individual differences in susceptibility to catching the emotions of other individuals. It examines mimetic tendency to five basic emotions (love, happiness, fear, anger, and sadness). The EC Scale is intended for use across a wide range of settings, samples, and studies. It can be quickly administered and scored within five minutes.

Toronto Alexithymia Scale
Bagby, R.M., Parker, J.D.A. & Taylor, G. J. (1994). The twenty-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale-I. Item selection and cross-validation of the factor structure. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 38(1), 23-32. [link]

  • This 20-item scale measures deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions. Copyright fees required.[link]

State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults
Spielberger, C.D. (1983). State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Palo Alto (CA): Consulting Psychologists Press.

  • "The STAI Form Y is the definitive instrument for measuring anxiety in adults. It differentiates between the temporary condition of "state anxiety" and the more general and long-standing quality of "trait anxiety". It helps professionals distinguish between a client's feelings of anxiety and depression. Adapted in more than forty languages, the STAI has forty questions with a range of four possible responses to each..."[link]

Self-Compassion: A Healthier Way of Relating to Yourself
Dr. Kristin Neff, Associate Professor in Human Development and Culture, Educational Psychology Department, University of Texas at Austin, is author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself(2011). Her website provides information and resources about self-compassion, and is intended for students, researchers, and the general public. How self-compassionate are you? [link]

Prosocial Personality Battery
Penner, L.A., Fritzsche, B.A., Craiger, J.P., & Freifeld, T.R. (1995). Measuring the prosocial personality. In J. Butcher & C. D. Spielberger (Eds.) Advances in personality assessment.(Vol. 10). Hillsdale, NJ: LEA. [link]

  • This 30-item questionnaire is designed to measure the effect of personality traits on prosocial thoughts, feelings, and actions. 

Reading the Mind in the Eyes
Baron-Cohen, S., Wheetwright, S., Hill, J., Raste, Y., & Plumb, I. (2001). The "Reading the Mind in the Eyes" test revised version: A study with normal adults, and adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning Autism. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 42, 241-251. [link]

  • This 36-item measure assesses empathic accuracy, or one's ability to accurately attribute an internal emotional or mental state to a target. Subjects view a series of black and white pictures of the eye region of a face. Participants are then asked to choose which of four words best describes what the person in each photograph is thinking or feeling. To find out how well you read the emotions of others, 

Short Story Task
Dodell-Feder, D., Lincoln, S.H., Coulson, J.P., & Hooker, C.I. (2013). Using Fiction to Assess Mental State Understanding: A New Task for Assessing Theory of Mind in Adults. PlosONe, 8(11), e81279. [link]

  • "Social functioning depends on the ability to attribute and reason about the mental states of others - an ability known as theory of mind (ToM). Research in this field is limited by the use of tasks in which ceiling effects are ubiquitous, rendering them insensitive to individual differences in ToM ability and instances of subtle ToM impairment. Here, we present data from a new ToM task - the Short Story Task (SST) - intended to improve upon many aspects of existing ToM measures."

Spontaneous Theory of Mind Protocol (STOMP)
Rice, K. & Redcay, E. (2014). Spontaneous mentalizing captures variability in the cortical thickness of social brain regions. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, doi: 10.1093/scan/nsu081.[link]

Director Task
Wu, S. & Keysar, B. (2007). The Effect of Culture on Perspective Taking. Psychological Science, 18(7), 600-606. [link]

  • "People consider the mental states of other people to understand their actions. We evaluated whether such perspective taking is culture dependent. People in collectivistic cultures (e.g., China) are said to have inter- dependent selves, whereas people in individualistic cultures (e.g., the United States) are said to have independent selves. To evaluate the effect of culture, we asked Chinese and American pairs to play a communication game that required perspective taking..."[link]

Questionnaire of Cognitive and Affective Empathy
Reniers, R.L., Corcoran, R., Drake, R., Shryane, N.M., Völlm, B.A. (2011). The QCAE: A questionnaire of cognitive and affective empathy. Journal of Personality Assessment, 93(1), 84-95.[link]

  • A 31-item questionnaire, answered on a 7-point Likert scale, designed to assess both the cognitive and affective domains of empathy.

The Jefferson Scale of Empathy
The Jefferson Scale of Empathy was developed by researchers at the Center for Research in Medical Education and Health Care at Sidney Kimmel Medical College to measure empathy in physicians and other health professionals (HP/Physician version), medical students (S-version), and health professional students (HPStudent version). [link]

Interpersonal Reactivity Index
Davis, M. H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 113-126.[pdf]

  • This 28-item survey is a measure of dispositional empathy that takes as its starting point the notion that empathy consists of a set of separate but related constructs. The instrument contains four seven-item subscales, each tapping a separate facet of empathy.

Empathy for Pain Task
Jackson, P.L., Meltzoff, A.N., & Decety, J. (2005). How do we perceive the pain of others? A window into the neural processes involved in empathy. NeuroImage, 24(3), 771-779. [link]

Toronto Empathy Questionnaire 

Spreng*, R. N., McKinnon*, M. C., Mar, R. A., & Levine, B. (2009). The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire: Scale development and initial validation of a factor-analytic solution to multiple empathy measures. Journal of personality assessment91(1), 62-71. [link]

Problem-solving Measures
Chrysikou, E.G. (2006). When shoes become hammers: Goal-derived categorization training enhances problem-solving performance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 32(4), 935.[link]

  • The author reviews several pre-problem-solving measures and insight problem-solving measures.

Cognitive abilities involved in insight problem solving
DeYoung, C.G., Flanders, J.L., & Peterson, J.B. (2008). Cognitive abilities involved in insight problem solving: An individual differences model. Creativity Research Journal, 20(3), 278-290. [link]

  • "This study investigated individual differences in cognitive abilities that contribute to solving insight problems. A model is proposed describing three types of cognitive ability that contribute independently to insight: convergent thinking, divergent thinking, and breaking frame..."

Aha! The cognitive neuroscience of insight
Kounios, J., & Jung-Beeman, M. (2009). Aha! The cognitive neuroscience of insight. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 210-216. [pdf]

Compound Remote Associates Problems
Bowden, E.M. & Jung-Beeman, M. (2003b). Normative data for 144 compound remote associate problems. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 35, 634-639. [link]

Number Reduction Task
Haider, H. & Rose, M. (2007). How to investigate insight: A proposal. Methods, 42(1), 49-57.[link]

Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART)
Lejuez, C.W., Read, J.P., Kahler, C.W., Richards, J.B., Ramsey, S.E., Stuart, G.L., Strong, D.R, & Brown, R.A. (2002). Evaluation of a behavioral measure of risk taking: The Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 8, 75-84.[link]

  • "The Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) is a computerized measure of risk taking behavior. The BART models real-world risk behavior through the conceptual frame of balancing the potential for reward versus loss..."[link]

Multiple Stimulus Types Ambiguity Tolerance Scale-II (MSTAT-II)
McLain, D.L. (1993). The MSTAT-II: A new measure of an individual's tolerance for ambiguity. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 53(1), 183-189. [link]

  • MSTAT-II is a 13-item measure of ambiguity tolerance based on a definition of ambiguity tolerance as an orientation, ranging from aversion to attraction, toward stimuli that are complex, unfamiliar, and insoluble.

Need for Closure Scale
Roets, A., & Van Hiel, A. (2011). Item selection and validation of a brief, 15-item version of the need for closure scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(1), 90-94. [link]

  • The Need for Closure Scale was designed to assess individuals' "motivation with respect to information processing and judgment." Need for cognitive closure is defined as a desire for an answer in order to end further information processing and judgment, even if that answer is not the correct or best answer. The scale includes 42 items within five sub-scales: Desire for predictability; Preference for order and structure; Discomfort with ambiguity; Decisiveness; and Close-mindedness.

The Trolley Problem
Thomson, J.J. (1985). The trolley problem. The Yale Law Journal, 94(6), 1395-1415. doi:10.2307/796133. [link]

  • A trolley is hurtling down a track, and if nobody intervenes it will hit and kill five people. Psychologists use variations on this hypothetical situation to gauge people's gut reactions about morality. 

Asian Disease Problem
Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1981). The framing of decisions and the psychology of choice. Science, 211(4481), 453-458.[link]


Workplace Relational Civility

Di Fabio, A., & Gori, A. (2016). Assessing Workplace Relational Civility (WRC) with a new multidimensional “mirror” measure. Frontiers in psychology7, 890. [link]

Moral Foundations Questionnaire 

Graham, J., Nosek, B. A., Haidt, J., Iyer, R., Koleva, S., & Ditto, P. H. (2011). Mapping the moral domain. Journal of personality and social psychology101(2), 366. [link]

Pragmatic Politeness Scale

Mitamura, T. (2018). Developing the Functional Assertiveness Scale: Measuring Dimensions of Objective Effectiveness and Pragmatic Politeness. Japanese Psychological Research60(2), 99-110. [link]