What Creates Wisdom: The Research

Carolyn Moor

This month we are discussing the topic of receptivity. It seems that every month when you focus on something, life presents information, experiences that then bring more of that into your world.

Recently, I’ve been realizing that our community is receptive to real, usable wisdom. We want answers and we need to understand our journey.

I came across some fascinating ‘wisdom’ research and I’d like to share it with you because it relates to women in widowhood.

Dr. Judith Glück is a professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Klagenfurt in Austria. Her research focuses on wisdom of the individual and how it develops over time. She also studies contextual conditions for the manifestation of wisdom, and how wisdom could be measured in an ecologically valid way.

Not everyone becomes wiser over time it seems. But there are some contributing factors that ensure that you do. You’ll want to know what they are because having these resources can be added to your own tool belt as you are beginning to rebuild YOU!

Some of these will be very recognizable, and I hope you are receptive to all of them.

5 Resources Central for the Development of Wisdom

  • Reflectivity: Being willing to think deeply about things including about yourself.
  • Openness: Which means being interested in any kind of experience, especially in those that are not totally in line with what you have had before in your life.
  • Emotional Regulation: Being aware of your own subtle emotions and being able to deal with them and regulate them rather than suppress them.
  • Empathy: Which is very important, being aware of what other people think and feel and caring about what they think and feel. It is believed that this extends in wise people beyond just a few people whom you know in your life to involve humankind in general or at least larger groups of people.
  • Sense of Mastery: Which means not simply feeling that you’re in control of everything, but on the contrary being aware of how many things in your life you cannot control, but that even if you cannot control them, you can deal with them.

You may read more about the MORE model of wisdom from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and Dr. Judith Gluck’s research here.

What I know for sure is that this life changing experience qualifies us all to not only be our own every day heroes, but stronger, wiser and eventually, EXTRA-ordinary. By being receptive to the large amount of resources available to us, I believe we can walk this path with a bit more ‘head held high’ with knowledegable confidence and that’s a great thing indeed.

Even when we don’t feel so wise, we are in fact developing it every single day. “Insight must precede application”- Max Planck