Ursula M. Staudinger and Judith Gluck

Annual Review of Psychology, 2011


Wisdom represents a fruitful topic for psychological investigations for at least two reasons. First, the study of wisdom emphasizes the search for the continued optimization and the further cultural evolution of the human condition. Second, it exemplifies the collaboration of cognitive, emotional, and motivational processes. The growth and scope of psychological wisdom research over the past few decades demonstrate that it is possible to investigate this complex construct with empirical rigor. Since the 1970s, five main areas have been established: lay definitions of wisdom, conceptualizing and measuring wisdom, understanding the development of wisdom, investigating the plasticity of wisdom, and applying psychological knowledge about wisdom in life contexts.