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27 - Wisdom and Well-Being

from Part VI - Wisdom and Other Psychological Constructs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 March 2019

Robert J. Sternberg
Cornell University, New York
Judith Glück
Universität Klagenfurt, Austria
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Are wise people happy or should they be worried? It might be argued that ignorance is bliss, whereas deeper insight into the reality, uncertainty, and impermanence of life that accompany the development of wisdom might cause worry and concern rather than greater well-being. This chapter first describes two pathways to positive human development, personality adjustment and personality growth, and how personality adjustment might be related to subjective well-being, while personality growth is more likely associated with aspects of psychological well-being. However, I argue that wisdom exemplifies both personality adjustment and personality growth through increases in equanimity and insight, and I present empirical evidence that shows consistent associations between measures of personal wisdom and indicators of psychological and subjective well-being. The relation between personal wisdom and subjective well-being appears to be even stronger during adversity and hardship and might be moderated by indicators of psychological well-being, coping skills, emotional intelligence, self-compassion, and gratitude.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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