Wisdom and Aging: A conceptual and operational overview of the construct of wisdom and its relationship with age
AbstractWisdom has aroused growing interest as a multi-faceted construct and an object of theoretical and empirical research. In this essay we review the major scientific conceptualizations, the criteria of operationalization, and the advances proposed about the psychological evaluation and measurement. First, it is recognized the meaning of the word “wisdom” used in the Hispanic language and in the Bible Scripture. Second, the implicit theories and the explicit theories are considered, distinguishing the theories of mature personality and the theories of cognitive nature. In these latter theories, we propose to analyze two approaches: 1. The assessment of knowledge as cognitive functioning, in which we emphasize the tradition neo-Piagetian and the model of the postformal thought; and 2. The assessment of cognitive performance and adaptive functioning, based on the Life-Span Theory. Within this line, this paper focuses on one of the principal theory at the current time: the Berlin Wisdom Paradigm, and the proposal for the evaluating of the wisdom-related knowledge with respect to the solving problems of everyday life and the life crises. Third, it is approached the factors that facilitate the emergence and development of wisdom in the life-span and in particular, in the aging. Finally, we review the even controversial issue about the relationship between wisdom and age.
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