Wisdom is an individual virtue that has been characterized as “the pinnacle of insightinto the human condition and about the means and ends of a good life” (Baltesand Staudinger, 2000, p. 122). Wise people have been described as well-balanced,interpersonally competent, concerned with the well-being of themselves, others, andsociety, and as possessing superior knowledge, judgment, and advice-giving skills(Ardelt, 2004; Baltes and Staudinger, 2000; Sternberg, 1990). While wisdom is an ancienttopic that has been discussed by philosophers and theologians for many centuries,behavioral researchers have become interested in wisdom only relatively recently,particularly in the context of increased research on lifespan development (Baltes andSmith, 1990; Clayton and Birren, 1980) and in relation to the emerging positivepsychology movement (Peterson and Seligman, 2004; Schwartz and Sharpe, 2006).
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