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7 - Wisdom As a Personality Type

from Part II - Conceptions of Wisdom

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 March 2019

Robert J. Sternberg
Affiliation:
Cornell University, New York
Judith Glück
Affiliation:
Universität Klagenfurt, Austria
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Summary

This chapter discusses the difference between defining wisdom as general wisdom-related knowledge or wise reasoning and wisdom as a personality type. In contrast to disembodied wisdom-related knowledge and wise reasoning, personal wisdom encompasses the whole person and is characterized by wisdom-related personality qualities. We describe three conceptions of wisdom as a personality type: wisdom as integrative personality, wisdom focused on non-cognitive personality, and wisdom as transpersonal personality. Empirical evidence confirms that wisdom defined as a personality type is more consistently related to the Big Five personality traits and psychological and subjective well-being than general wisdom-related knowledge and wise reasoning. Whereas people’s wisdom-related knowledge or wise reasoning do not reveal their personality, general approach to life, or how satisfied and content they are, individuals with a wise personality tend to be open to new experiences, agreeable, conscientious, extraverted, and emotionally stable and to report greater psychological and subjective well-being.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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