Does wisdom bring life satisfaction?

    A new study finds that the ability to reason wisely is associated with greater life satisfaction, better social relationships, less depressive rumination, more positive vs. negative words used in speech, and greater longevity.The relationship between wise reasoning and well-being held even when controlling for socio-economic factors, verbal abilities, and several personality traits. Psychologist Igor Grossman at the University of Waterloo and his colleagues presented people between the ages of 25 – 90 with different types of “Dear Abby” dilemmas.

    Then, they tested how well people considered different perspectives, recognized the likelihood of change, recognized multiple ways in which the conflict might unfold and so on.

    The study found that the older study participants were, the stronger the correlation between wisdom and well-being.

    In their weekly conversation, WHYY’s Behavioral Health reporter Maiken Scott and psychologist Dan Gottlieb discuss this study, and the connection between wisdom and well-being.

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