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An evaluation of the factor structure of the Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale (SAWS) and the creation of the SAWS-15 as a short measure for personal wisdom

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2021

Trilas M. Leeman*
Affiliation:
School of Psychology and Counselling, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia
Bob G. Knight
Affiliation:
School of Psychology and Counselling, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia
Erich C. Fein
Affiliation:
School of Psychology and Counselling, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia
Sonya Winterbotham
Affiliation:
School of Psychology and Counselling, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia
Jeffrey Dean Webster
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Langara College, Vancouver, Canada
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: Trilas M. Leeman, School of Psychology and Counselling, University of Southern Queensland, West Street, Darling Heights, Queensland, Australia, 4350. Phone: +61746312638; Fax: +61 7 4631 2721. Email: Trilas.Leeman@usq.edu.au.

Abstract

Objectives:

Although wisdom is a desirable life span developmental goal, researchers have often lacked brief and reliable construct measures. We examined whether an abbreviated set of items could be empirically derived from the popular 40-item five-factor Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale (SAWS).

Design:

Survey data from 709 respondents were randomly split into two and analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).

Setting:

The survey was conducted online in Australia.

Participants:

The total sample consisted of 709 participants (Mage = 35.67 years; age range = 15–92 years) of whom 22% were male, and 78% female.

Measurement:

The study analyzed the 40-item SAWS.

Results:

Sample 1 showed the traditional five-factor structure for the 40-item SAWS did not fit the data. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) on Sample 2 offered an alternative model based on a 15-item, five-factor solution with the latent variables Reminiscence/Reflection, Humor, Emotional Regulation, Experience, and Openness. This model, which replicates the factor structure of the original 40-item SAWS with a short form of 15 items, was then confirmed on Sample 1 using a CFA that produced acceptable fit and measurement invariance across age groups.

Conclusions:

We suggest the abbreviated SAWS-15 can be useful as a measure of individual differences in wisdom, and we highlight areas for future research.

Type
Original Research Article
Copyright
© International Psychogeriatric Association 2021

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