Centre for Confidence and Well-being

Skip to content
Carol's Blog
Postcards from Scotland

The Older-and-Wiser Hypothesis

What does it mean to be wise? can wisdom be measured and studied? Are older people wiser than the young?
Wisdom means different things to different people, even researchers define wisdom in different ways; some view it as the final stage of personality development, others define wisdom as having expert knowledge and there are those who define wisdom as a balance of responses to the environment and to their own, short term and long term, personal interests.   There are others who assert that the wise may be emotionally resilient.  For them, resilience may not only be the hallmark of the wise but may also be a pathway to wisdom. There is a paradox at the heart of the issue which is that ?wisdom is a difficult concept to define but yet irresistible to study, it says a lot about who we aspire to become and what we value as a society?.  Though some people have deemed wisdom to be a fuzzy concept and have dismissed the notion, because it is difficult to define and measure, the concept has been scientifically investigated since the 50?s. One of the most influential writers on wisdom, Erik H. Erikson, said that wisdom was a likely, but not inevitable, by product of growing older.  Recent studies support this claim by showing that people can be young and wise.  It seems that wisdom is easier to understand when we look at what it is not e.g. a product of aging. Wise people tend to be other centred and humble and those who think they are wise often are not. To read more click here
Centre Events Previous Centre Events External Events Carol's Talks