‘The rich and diverse contributions to this volume span a wide variety of disciplines, from psychology and philosophy to neuroscience, by some of the most influential scholars in the emerging science of personal wisdom. As such, it is a collection of essential readings and the first publication to integrate both the spiritual and pragmatic dimensions of personal wisdom.
The content of the book goes beyond speculative theory to present a wealth of scientific research currently under way in this expanding field. It also describes numerous promising methods now being deployed in the quest for scientific knowledge of the elusive, yet critical, phenomenon of personal wisdom. The book is an excellent introduction to the field for novice researchers as well as a stimulating and enlightening resource for established experts. Its broad appeal makes it a vital addition to the libraries of academics and practitioners in many disciplines, from developmental psychology to gerontology and from philosophy to contemplative religious traditions such as Buddhism.’
‘When people get together, there is often one stand-out individual who others turn to for answers. This person has the best advice on everything from raising children to running a business, and offers the most penetrating insights into world events. Their understanding of people, and why we act as we do, makes them the wisest one in the room.
Psychologists Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross reveal their discipline’s greatest discoveries so we can all become wiser. From conflict resolution to overcoming social shyness, and from winning a tennis match to encouraging people to recycle, they demonstrate how even small changes in social context, feedback or presentation can achieve dramatic results. Replete with real-world examples, The Wisest One in the Room is a fascinating examination of human behaviour, revealing how we can become more adept at tackling the challenges, great and small, that we face every day.’
‘In THE WISDOM PARADOX, world-renowned neuropsychologist Elkhonon Goldberg argues that although some mental abilities (such as recent-memory recall) decline as the mind enters the autumn season of our lifespan and we increasingly experience ‘senior moments’, the brain actually becomes more powerful in its ability to recognize patterns. As a result, we are able to make decisions at more intuitive and effective levels — a late-emerging mental strength he terms ‘wisdom’. In lively, accessible prose, Goldberg delves into the mechanisms of the mind, outlining how the elegant structures of the brain develop and change over the course of a lifetime. Drawing on recent and historical examples of leaders and artists who achieved their greatest successes late in life — from Goethe to Ronald Reagan — Goldberg illustrates the effects of an emerging scientific understanding of the biology of wisdom. Most provocatively, he outlines how a ‘cognitive fitness’ programme can both curtail the negative mental effects of ageing and enhance our decision-making powers. Insightful and inspiring, THE WISDOM PARADOX is a groundbreaking look into our mental machinery that will change the way you think about ageing — and about thinking.’
‘We all recognize wisdom, but defining it is more elusive. In this fascinating journey from philosophy to science, Stephen S. Hall gives us a penetrating history of wisdom, from its sudden emergence in the fifth century B.C. to its modern manifestations in education, politics, and the workplace. Hall’s bracing exploration of the science of wisdom allows us to see this ancient virtue with fresh eyes, yet also makes clear that despite modern science’s most powerful efforts, wisdom continues to elude easy understanding.’
‘A topic ignored in mainstream scientific inquiry for decades, wisdom is beginning to return to the place of reverence that it held in ancient schools of intellectual study. A Handbook of Wisdom, first published in 2005, explores wisdom’s promise for helping scholars and lay people to understand the apex of human thought and behavior. At a time when poor choices are being made by notably intelligent and powerful individuals, this book presents analysis and review on a form of reasoning and decision-making that is not only productive and prudent, but also serves a beneficial purpose for society. A Handbook of Wisdom is a collection of chapters from some of the most prominent scholars in the field of wisdom research. Written from multiple perspectives, including psychology, philosophy, and religion, this book gives the reader an in-depth understanding of wisdom’s past, present, and possible future direction within literature, science, and society.’
‘Wisdom is such an elusive psychological construct that few people have considered it a viable field, though many are fascinated by the topic. Well-known psychologist Robert J. Sternberg of Yale University, perceiving the growth of interest in wisdom as a field, saw a need to document the progress that has been made in the field since the early ’80s and to point the way for future theory and research. The resulting comprehensive and authoritative book, Wisdom: Its Nature, Origins and Development, is a well-rounded collection of psychological views on wisdom. It introduces this concept of wisdom, considers philosophical issues and developmental approaches, and covers as well folk conceptions of the topic. In the final section, Professor Sternberg provides an integration of the fascinating and comprehensive material.’