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Introduction

A first approach to the definition of wisdom from a psychological perspective is its treatment in dictionaries. The major German historical dictionary, for instance, defined wisdom as ‘insight and knowledge about oneself and the world … and sound judgement in the case of difficult life problems’. Similarly, the Oxford Dictionary includes in its definition of wisdom: ‘Good judgement and advice in difficult and uncertain matters of life.’

In a next step, psychologists further specified the content and formal properties of wisdom-related phenomena. These initial efforts for the most part were theoretical and speculative. G. Stanley Hall in 1922, for example, associated wisdom with the emergence of a meditative attitude, philosophic calmness, impartiality, and the desire to draw moral lessons that emerge in later adulthood. Furthermore, writers ...

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