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ON WISDOM Podcast – Episode 22: The Epistemic Tightrope: Walking The Line of Doubt (with Scott Lilienfeld)

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The On Wisdom podcast features a social-cognitive scientist in Toronto and an educator in London discussing the latest empirical science regarding the nature of wisdom. Igor Grossmann runs the Wisdom & Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Charles Cassidy runs the Evidence-Based Wisdom project in London, UK. The podcast thrives on a diet of freewheeling conversation on wisdom and decision-making, and includes regular guests spots with leading behavioural scientists from the field of wisdom research and beyond. Welcome to The On Wisdom Podcast.


ABOUT THIS EPISODE



Patients always receive treatment in agreement with the best scientific evidence available, right?

Well, no. Not really.

Clinical practitioners seem to suffer from many of the cognitive biases that affect the rest of us, and treatment decisions are often much less science-based that we might like to think.



Emory Professor of Psychology Scott Lilienfeld joins Igor and Charles to discuss evidence-based practice in psychotherapy, the importance of doubting, clinical psychology’s dirty little secret, Scarlett Johansson’s brain, confirmation bias, how science really works, and why people just can’t let go of the idea that a full moon triggers werewolf-style behaviour. Igor reveals he learnt his English from TV detective ‘Columbo’, Scott discusses the fine art of planting seeds of doubt in conversations, and Charles learns from Abraham Lincoln that intellectual humility can ultimately be a path to earned intellectual confidence.

Welcome to Episode 22.


Click here to listen to ‘Episode 22: The Epistemic Tightrope: Walking The Line of Doubt (with Scott Lilienfeld)’ in full.


Click here to visit the On Wisdom Podcast site.
Click here to get to the podcast through iTunes.
Click here to subscribe to the podcast through your chosen app.

If you have any thoughts about the On Wisdom podcast, please get in touch.

You can get in contact at charles@evidencebasedwisdom.com, via the about page or find me on twitter @EBasedwisdom. You can also contact us through the On Wisdom site here or find us on twitter @onwisdompodcast.

The New Science of Practical Wisdom – A Companion Animation

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THE ORIGIN STORY

In June 2018, University of California San Diego’s Center for Healthy Aging hosted the Wisdom, Compassion, and Longevity SymposiumOn the second day of the symposium, USCD’s Dr Dilip Jeste, Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, gathered a team of leading academics – including neurologists, psychiatrists, anthropologists, psychologists, moral philosophers, and epidemiologists – to produce a paper entitled ‘The New Science of Practical Wisdom’.

The aim of the joint paper was to introduce the science of wisdom research to the broader academic community. Evidence-Based Wisdom was invited to help write the paper, and the piece has now been published by Johns Hopkins University Press in the journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine.


THE ANIMATION

Evidence-Based Wisdom and UC San Diego’s Center for Healthy Aging also worked together to produce a companion animation for the paper, featuring interviews from co-authors Dilip Jeste, Rachel Caspari, Pascal Gagneux, Bruce Miller, Katerina Semendeferi, Candace Vogler, Howard Nusbaum, and Dan Blazer.

The animation covers how wisdom is defined and measured in the laboratory, the biology of wisdom, its dynamic relationship with culture, wisdom and aging, wisdom and health, and how we might build wiser societies.



If you have any thoughts about the animation, please get in touch.

You can contact me at charles@evidencebasedwisdom.com, via the about page or find me on twitter @EBasedwisdom.

Charles


ON WISDOM Podcast – Episode 21: The Art & Science of Knowing You Don’t Know (with Mark Alfano)

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The On Wisdom podcast features a social-cognitive scientist in Toronto and an educator in London discussing the latest empirical science regarding the nature of wisdom. Igor Grossmann runs the Wisdom & Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Charles Cassidy runs the Evidence-Based Wisdom project in London, UK. The podcast thrives on a diet of freewheeling conversation on wisdom and decision-making, and includes regular guests spots with leading behavioural scientists from the field of wisdom research and beyond. Welcome to The On Wisdom Podcast.


ABOUT THIS EPISODE


We live in confusing times. Politics is polarizing. Opinions clash on many topics leading to heated discussions. Take environmental change and what to do about it, the best ways to achieve prosperity, or the threats and opportunities of our globalized economy.

Are we ready to admit that we often actually don’t understand what’s going on?



Professor of Philosophy Mark Alfano joins Igor and Charles to discuss the importance of ‘intellectual humility’ when seeking a more accurate grasp of reality, the perils of poorly designed virtue education programmes, Nietzsche and his take on the intellectual virtues, and the training of machine-learning algorithms to mine our digital footprints for signs of virtuous behaviour. Igor raises concerns that embracing uncertainty may hobble vital action, Mark talks of the dangers of creaking open your social media newsfeed too wide, and Charles learns that fostering contempt for oneself and one’s group may be essential on the path to truth.

Welcome to Episode 21.


Click here to listen to ‘Episode 21: The Art & Science of Knowing You Don’t Know (with Mark Alfano)’ in full

Click here to visit the On Wisdom Podcast site.
Click here to get to the podcast through iTunes.
Click here to subscribe to the podcast through your chosen app.

If you have any thoughts about the On Wisdom podcast, please get in touch.

You can get in contact at charles@evidencebasedwisdom.com, via the about page or find me on twitter @EBasedwisdom. You can also contact us through the On Wisdom site here or find us on twitter @onwisdompodcast.

ON WISDOM Podcast – Episode 20: The Science of Awe (with Dacher Keltner)

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The On Wisdom podcast features a social-cognitive scientist in Toronto and an educator in London discussing the latest empirical science regarding the nature of wisdom. Igor Grossmann runs the Wisdom & Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Charles Cassidy runs the Evidence-Based Wisdom project in London, UK. The podcast thrives on a diet of freewheeling conversation on wisdom and decision-making, and includes regular guests spots with leading behavioural scientists from the field of wisdom research and beyond. Welcome to The On Wisdom Podcast.


ABOUT THIS EPISODE


What exactly is ‘awe’ and does it bring us, as individuals or as a society, any benefit? 



Professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center Dacher Keltner joins Igor and Charles to discuss why Canadians feel differently about awe than the Chinese, how to take an ‘awe walk’, why emotions vary across historical time, and the importance of experiencing diverse emotions and how to balance them, while the ‘Dacher-Guesses-Emotions’ game reveals the alarmingly fine line between disgust and desire. Igor digs into controversies over different theories of emotion, Dacher talks of inequality and elation as the new frontiers of social psychology, and Charles learns that awe may play a key role in the very process of scientific discovery itself. 

Welcome to Episode 20.


Click here to listen to ‘Episode 20: The Science of Awe (with Dacher Keltner)’ in full

Click here to visit the On Wisdom Podcast site.
Click here to get to the podcast through iTunes.
Click here to subscribe to the podcast through your chosen app.

If you have any thoughts about the On Wisdom podcast, please get in touch.

You can get in contact at charles@evidencebasedwisdom.com, via the about page or find me on twitter @EBasedwisdom. You can also contact us through the On Wisdom site here or find us on twitter @onwisdompodcast.

EBW Dispatches: The New Science of Practical Wisdom

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The EBW Dispatches Series reports the latest developments from the frontline of wisdom research. Key findings are highlighted and illuminated – with a little help from the researchers themselves. The relevant papers can be found at the end of the dispatch.



EBW Dispatches - The New Science of Practical Wisdom


THE NEW SCIENCE OF PRACTICAL WISDOM – A Collaborative Paper

Introducing the science of wisdom research to the broader academic community


In June 2018, University of California San Diego’s Center for Healthy Aging hosted the Wisdom, Compassion, and Longevity Symposium. On the second day of the symposium, USCD’s Dr Dilip Jeste, Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, gathered a team of leading academics – including neurologists, psychiatrists, anthropologists, psychologists, moral philosophers, and epidemiologists – to produce a paper entitled ‘The New Science of Practical Wisdom’.
The aim of the joint paper was to introduce the science of wisdom research to the broader academic community. Evidence-Based Wisdom was invited to help write the paper, and the piece has now been published by Johns Hopkins University Press in the journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine.

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Abstract



The abstract of the paper is as follows: 

‘Wisdom has been discussed for centuries in religious and philosophical texts. It is often viewed as a fuzzy psychological construct analogous to consciousness, stress, and resilience. This essay provides an understanding of wisdom as a scientific construct, based on empirical research starting in the 1970s. The focus is on practical rather than theoretical wisdom. While there are different conceptualizations of wisdom, it is best defined as a complex human characteristic or trait with specific components: social decision-making, emotional regulation, prosocial behavior (such as empathy and compassion), self-reflection, acceptance of uncertainty, decisiveness, and spirituality. These psychological processes involve the fronto-limbic circuitry. Wisdom is associated with positive life outcomes including better health, well-being, happiness, life satisfaction, and resilience. Wisdom tends to increase with active aging, facilitating a contribution of wise grandparents to promoting fitness of younger kin. Despite the loss of their own fertility and physical health, older adults help enhance their children’s and grandchildren’s well-being, health, longevity, and fertility—the “grandmother hypothesis” of wisdom. Wisdom has important implications at individual and societal levels and is a major contributor to human thriving. We need to place a greater emphasis on promoting wisdom through our educational systems from elementary to professional schools.’


Wisdom is associated with positive life outcomes including better health, well-being, happiness, life satisfaction, and resilience.



Overview



The paper is broad and interdisciplinary in scope, including contributions from neurologists, psychiatrists, anthropologists, psychologists, moral philosophers, and epidemiologists. The following topics are covered in the paper:


1: Defining Wisdom


2: Measuring Wisdom


3: The Biology of Wisdom

A Putative Model of the Neurobiology of Wisdom

Charting the Evolution of the Wise Brain

Grandparent Genes and Population Resilience


4: Wisdom, Context & Culture

The Power of the Situation

Wisdom and the Meaning of Life


5: Wisdom & Aging

Older and Happier?

Wisdom and Adversity: The Tragedy and Opportunity of Trauma

Wisdom-related Neuroplasticity of Aging


6: Wisdom & Health

Learning from Other Communities: Centenarians in Cilento


7: Building Wiser Societies

Wisdom & Compassion Training

Using Technology Wisely

Gross National Wisdom? Introducing a Wisdom Index

Wisdom as a Vaccine Against Three Modern Epidemics


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Contributors



The paper is the result of a collaboration between the following authors:

Dilip V. Jeste, MD, University of California San Diego – Co-first Author

Ellen E. Lee, MD, University of California San Diego – Co-first Author

Charles Cassidy, MPhys, Evidence-Based Wisdom – Co-first Author

Rachel Caspari, PhD, Central Michigan University

Pascal Gagneux, PhD, University of California San Diego

Danielle Glorioso, MSW, University of California San Diego

Bruce L. Miller, MD, University of California San Francisco

Katerina Semendeferi, PhD, University of California San Diego

Candace Vogler, PhD, University of Chicago

Howard Nusbaum, PhD, University of Chicago – Co-Senior Author

Dan Blazer, MD, PhD, MPH, Duke University – Co-Senior Author


The authors would like to acknowledge the support from the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging and the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging.

The authors would also like to thank all of our colleagues who attended the discussion session of the Wisdom, Compassion, and Longevity Symposium of the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging in June 2018: Drs. Hortensia Amaro, James Brewer, Shu Chien, Angela Diaz, Joel Dimsdale, Salvatore Di Somma, Lisa Eyler, Jay Giedd, Alana Iglewicz, Tracy Lustig, Bill Mobley, Ramesh Rao, Peter Salk, Nick Spitzer, and William Vega.



Companion Animation



EBW has produced a companion animation for the paper, including audio interviews from several of the papers authors.  The animation gives an overview of what was covered in the paper, just with fewer words and more pictures. Coming soon….!


We need to place a greater emphasis on promoting wisdom through our educational systems from elementary to professional schools.



Reference



The paper is published in the Spring 2019 issue of the journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine by Johns Hopkins University Press, and can be found here.


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If you have any thoughts about the dispatch, please get in touch.

You can contact me at charles@evidencebasedwisdom.com, via the about page or find me on twitter @EBasedwisdom.

Charles

ON WISDOM Podcast – Episode 19: The Individual and The Culture (with Adam Grant)

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The On Wisdom podcast features a social-cognitive scientist in Toronto and an educator in London discussing the latest empirical science regarding the nature of wisdom. Igor Grossmann runs the Wisdom & Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Charles Cassidy runs the Evidence-Based Wisdom project in London, UK. The podcast thrives on a diet of freewheeling conversation on wisdom and decision-making, and includes regular guests spots with leading behavioural scientists from the field of wisdom research and beyond. Welcome to The On Wisdom Podcast.


ABOUT THIS EPISODE


Can an individual really change a culture?

Who are the ‘culture carriers’ and why are they so important?

Does morality stand in the way of making a profit?



Organisational Psychologist Adam Grant joins Igor and Charles to discuss cultures of non-conformity and giving in the workplace, the perils of cognitive entrenchment, the critical role of culture carriers, and why we should be managing our attention rather than our time. Igor delights in learning of the astoundingly high frequency of dancers among Nobel prize winners, Adam suggests that moral arguments still trump bottom-line arguments in the boardroom, and Charles learns that the secret route to culture change might be found in asking your boss for advice.

Welcome to Episode 19.


Click here to listen to ‘Episode 19: The Individual and The Culture (with Adam Grant)’ in full

Click here to visit the On Wisdom Podcast site.
Click here to get to the podcast through iTunes.
Click here to subscribe to the podcast through your chosen app.

If you have any thoughts about the On Wisdom podcast, please get in touch.

You can get in contact at charles@evidencebasedwisdom.com, via the about page or find me on twitter @EBasedwisdom. You can also contact us through the On Wisdom site here or find us on twitter @onwisdompodcast.

ON WISDOM Podcast Episode 18: The End of the World is Nigh – Polarised Tribes, Passionate Words, and the Partisan Brain (with Jay Van Bavel)

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The On Wisdom podcast features a social-cognitive scientist in Toronto and an educator in London discussing the latest empirical science regarding the nature of wisdom. Igor Grossmann runs the Wisdom & Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Charles Cassidy runs the Evidence-Based Wisdom project in London, UK. The podcast thrives on a diet of freewheeling conversation on wisdom and decision-making, and includes regular guests spots with leading behavioural scientists from the field of wisdom research and beyond. Welcome to The On Wisdom Podcast.


ABOUT THIS EPISODE


How did politics get so damn polarised?

Do we even care about accuracy at all anymore?

And if our brains are wired for partisanship, might a brain-based model show us a way out of this unholy mess?


Image by Niek Verlaan from Pixabay

New York University’s Jay Van Bavel joins Igor and Charles to discuss political polarisation, the partisan brain, the inexorable rise of superheroes in dark times, the misperceptions of polarisation levels, and how to reach out to other tribes. Igor highlights the partisanship-transcending benefits of a Watchmen-style alien invasion, Jay proposes the judicious use of ‘off-ramps’ when engaging with loved-ones from across the political divide, and Charles learns that even the abstract purity of Mathematics is not immune from the tentacles of partisanship when guns are involved.

Welcome to Episode 18.


Click here to listen to ‘Episode 18: The End of the World is Nigh: Polarised Tribes, Passionate Words, and the Partisan Brain (with Jay Van Bavel)’ in full

Click here to visit the On Wisdom Podcast site.
Click here to get to the podcast through iTunes.
Click here to subscribe to the podcast through your chosen app.

If you have any thoughts about the On Wisdom podcast, please get in touch.

You can get in contact at charles@evidencebasedwisdom.com, via the about page or find me on twitter @EBasedwisdom. You can also contact us through the On Wisdom site here or find us on twitter @onwisdompodcast.