The science of wisdom: An exploration of excellence in mind and virtue

Anne Bundock


In recent years, psychologists have begun to explore the rare and elusive human quality of wisdom. The challenges they face are many: wisdom is difficult to conceptualise, expensive and time-consuming to study, and no generally agreed definition of wisdom has yet emerged. Rather, researchers have defined it according to their own philosophical orientation and particular work focus. As such, this essay will briefly review the current conceptualisation, definition, and operationalisation of wisdom by principal researchers in this field. Specifically, this will involve a review of the Berlin Wisdom Paradigm and the Three Dimensional Wisdom paradigm. Furthermore, findings on the antecedents and correlates of having and maintaining wisdom will be summarised, and similarities and differences between the models will be discussed.

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