Self-reported wisdom and happiness: An empirical investigation

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Self-reported wisdom and happiness: An empirical investigation
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Bergsma, A., & Ardelt, M. (2012). Self-reported wisdom and happiness: An empirical investigation. Journal of Happiness Studies, 13 (3), 481-499. doi: 10.1007/s10902-011-9275-5
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Bergsma, Ad
Ardelt, Monika
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Possible tensions between wisdom and happiness have been extensively debated in philosophy. Some regard wisdom as the ‘supreme part of happiness’, whereas other think that a more accurate and wiser view on reality might reduce happiness. Analyzing a Dutch internet survey of 7037 respondents, we discovered that self-reported wisdom and happiness were modestly positively related. Wisdom, measured with the Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (3D-WS), explained 9.2% of the variation in hedonic happiness. The correlation with the reflective dimension of wisdom was the strongest. In addition, wisdom was more important for happiness among adults with only an elementary education. Our results suggest that happiness and wisdom do not conflict.
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Self-ReportedWisdomandHappiness: AnEmpiricalInvestigationAdBergsma€MonikaArdeltPublishedonline:27May2011 TheAuthor(s)2011.ThisarticleispublishedwithopenaccessatSpringerlink.comAbstract Possibletensionsbetweenwisdomandhappinesshavebeenextensively debatedinphilosophy.Someregardwisdomasthe‘supremepartofhappiness’,whereas otherthinkthatamoreaccurateandwiserviewonrealitymightreducehappiness.AnalyzingaDutchinternetsurveyof7037respondents,wediscoveredthatwisdomand happinessweremodestlypositivelyrelated.Wisdom,measuredwiththeThree-DimensionalWisdomScale(3D-WS),explained9.2%ofthevariationinhedonichappiness.The correlationwiththereectivedimensionofwisdomwasthestrongest.Inaddition,wisdom wasmoreimportantforhappinessamongadultswithonlyanelementaryeducation.Our resultssuggestthathappinessandwisdomdonotconict. Keywords Happiness Wisdom Utilitarianism Eudaimonicwell-being Positive affect Personalgrowth Adjustment Thethoughtthattheenjoymentofrealityisgoodinitselfisalreadyembodiedinthe wisdomoftheTalmud;itstatesthateverybodyhastojustifyhimselfinthelife hereafterforeveryfailuretoenjoyalegitimatelyofferedpleasureinthisworld. MarieJahoda( 1958 ) Themostmanifestsignofwisdomisacontinualcheerfulness:herstateislikethatof thingsintheregionsabovethemoon,alwaysclearandserene. MicheldeMontaigne(1905) A.Bergsma( & ) FacultyofSocialSciences,ErasmusUniversityRotterdam,P.O.Box1738, 3000DRRotterdam,TheNetherlands e-mail:bergsma@fsw.eur.nl M.Ardelt DepartmentofSociologyandCriminology&Law,UniversityofFlorida, P.O.Box117330,Gainesville,FL32611-7330,USA e-mail:ardelt@u.edu123JHappinessStud(2012)13:481–499 DOI10.1007/s10902-011-9275-5

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Weseekhappinessforthesakeofitself,butwechoosevirtuessuchashonourand reasonnotonlyfortheirsakes,butalsoforthesakeofhappiness.Aristotle(350B.C.E.) wrotethesefamouswordsinhisNicomacheanEthics.Heconcludedthathappinessisthe ultimategoal.Yet,hisconceptofhappinessisnotstrictlyhedonic.Ithasclearelementsof eudaimonicwell-being(Franklin 2010 ).ForAristotle,happinessisactingvirtuouslyand feelinggoodbecauseofthat(RyanandDeci 2001 ). Bentham( 1789 [1970])tookAristotle’sideaabouttheultimategoalandgaveita psychologicaltwistbyusingarestricteddenitionofhappinessasthesumofpleasures minuspains.Hismoralphilosophyisbasedontheideathatweshouldseekthegreatest hedonichappinessforthegreatestnumberofpeople.Thisideahasremainedinuential. Forexample,themodernscholarTalBen-Shahar( 2007 )referstohappinessastheultimate currency,andreasoningaboutultimatehappinessisgainingmomentuminsociety.Several sociologists,economists,andpoliticiansstatethattraditionalsocioeconomicindicators suchasGrossDomesticProduct(GDP)aremeasuringmeansratherthanends.Bycontrast, GrossNationalHappinessisusedasagoalfordevelopmentinBhutan(Priesner 1999 ).In theWest,thesameideaispropagatedbynotedscholars,suchasKahnemanetal.( 1997 ) andLayard( 2005 ),whoarguethatthepromotionofhappinesscouldbeusedtoguide governmentdecisions. Althoughthislineofreasoninghasgainedprominenceinthelastdecade(Veenhoven 2004 ),theideaaboutanultimatecurrencyisstillunderdebate.Amajorobjectionisthat hedonichappinessisnotsufcienttoassesswhetherpeoplearefaringwell(Ryff 1989 ). Oneissueinthedebateiswhethergrowingwiserismoredesirablethanbeinghappyand whethertheattainmentofwisdommightbeaccompaniedbydistress(Staudingerand Glu ¨ ck 2011 ;StaudingerandKunzmann 2005 ).Weapproachthisissueempiricallyby assessingbothhappinessandwisdominaDutchinternetsurveyof7037respondents. Westartwithadiscussionoftheelusiveconstructsofhappinessandwisdom,followed byashortphilosophicalexpose ofthepresumedrelationbetweenhappinessandwisdom andhowtheseconceptstintotherecentpsychologicaldebateabouttherelative importanceofeudaimonicandhedonicwell-being.Wethensummarizeearlierempirical researchontheassociationbetweenwisdomandhappinessbeforewepresentourown ndings. 1DeningHappiness Inabroadsense,thewordhappinessisusedfor‘qualityoflife’or‘well-being’,denoting thatlifeisgoodbutwithoutspecifyingwhatisgoodaboutlife.Veenhoven( 2004 )has chartedthedifferentmeaningsconveyedbytheterm,usingaclassicationschemeoffour qualitiesoflife(seeTable 1 ).Thisclassicationisbasedontwodistinctions:Vertically thereisadifferencebetween opportunities foragoodlifeandactual outcomes oflife.The distinctionisimportant,becausepeoplecanfailtousethelifechancesofferedtothem.The horizontaldistinctionrefersto external qualitiesoftheenvironmentand internal qualities oftheindividual.Together,thesetwodichotomiesproducefourqualitiesoflife,which haveallbeendenotedbytheword‘happiness’. Theupperleftquadrant(livabilityoftheenvironment)representsgoodlivingconditions,suchasmaterialafuence,schooling,politicalfreedom,andsocialequality,which raisethechancesofpeoplefeelinggoodabouttheirlivesTheupperrightquadrant( life abilityoftheperson )denoteshowwellanindividualisabletoseizeopportunitiesandto copewiththeproblemsoflife.Goodlife-abilitygivesindividualsthepossibilitytomake 482 A.Bergsma,M.Ardelt123

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thebestofdifferentcircumstances.Thebottomleftquadrant (utilityoflife) representsthe notionthatagoodlifemustservesomehigherfunction,suchasecologicalpreservation, virtue,orculturaldevelopment.Gerson( 1976 ,p.795)referredtothisvariantas‘transcendental’conceptionsofqualityoflife.Thecombinationof life abilityoftheperson and the utilityoflife issimilartoRyff’s( 1989 ;RyffandKeyes 1995 )conceptofpsychological well-being,whichconsistsofenvironmentalmastery,autonomy,self-acceptance,positive relationswithothers,personalgrowth,andpurposeinlife.Finally,thebottomright quadrant ( denotedby satisfactionwithlife) describestheinternalappreciationofone’slife. ThislatterdenitionismostcloselyassociatedtoBentham’s( 1789 [1970])viewof happinessasthesumofpleasuresminuspains,althoughwerealizethatthereisadifferencebetweenlifesatisfactionandhappiness.Ifhappinessisaffectedbydailypleasures andpains,itislikelythatitislessstablethananoverallfeelingofsatisfactionwithlife, whichisbasedoncomparisonsbetweenpastaspirationsandpresentachievements(Fisher 1992 ;GeorgeandBearon 1980 ). Inthispaper,wefollowBentham’sdenitionofhappinessastheaffectiveappreciation ofone’slife.Wemeasuredhappinesswithself-reportsandaskedparticipantstoratehow happytheyhavefeltinthelast3monthsandtoday. 2DeningWisdom Althoughwisdomisacomplexconceptanddifculttodene(Sternberg 1990 ;Sternberg andJordan 2005 ),historicallyithasbeenconsideredthepinnacleofhumandevelopment (BaltesandStaudinger 2000 ).Forexample,Kunzmann( 2004 ,p.504)describedwisdomas ‘ ƒ aperfect,perhapsutopian,integrationofknowledgeandcharacter,ofmindandvirtue.’ Wisepeoplepresumablypossessmanypositivequalities,suchasamatureandintegrated personality,superiorjudgmentskillsindifcultlifematters,andtheabilitytocopewith thevicissitudesoflife(e.g.,Ardelt 2004 ). Unfortunately,evenafterthreedecadesofcontemporarywisdomresearch,agenerally agreedupondenitionofthiselusiveconceptdoesnotexist.MeeksandJeste( 2009 ) analyzed10majordenitionsanddescriptionsofwisdomandfoundthatsixsubcomponentswereincludedinatleastthreeofthesedenitions:(1)prosocialattitudes/behaviors, (2)socialdecisionmaking/pragmaticknowledgeoflife,(3)emotionalhomeostasis,(4) reection/self-understanding,(5)valuerelativism/toleranceand(6)acknowledgementof anddealingwithuncertainty/ambiguity.Inthisstudy,wedeneandoperationalizewisdom asanintegrationofcognitive,reective,andcompassionatepersonalitycharacteristics. OurmeasureisbasedonpriorresearchbyClaytonandBirren( 1980 )andfurtherdevelopedbyArdelt( 1997 2003 2004 ).Thisgeneral,yetrelativelyparsimoniousdescriptionof wisdomseemstobecompatiblewithmostofthedenitionsfoundintheancientand contemporarywisdomliterature(Ardelt 2011b ;ArdeltandOh 2010 ;Manheimer 1992 )and isalsodistinctenoughtodistinguishawisepersonfrom,forexample,anintelligent, creative,oraltruisticindividual(Ardelt 2004 ). Table1 Fourqualitiesoflife ExternallifequalitiesInternallifequalities LifeChances LivabilityofenvironmentLife-abilityoftheperson LifeResults UtilityoflifeSatisfactionwithlife WisdomandHappiness 483123

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AssummarizedinTable 2 ,the cognitive dimensionofwisdomreferstothedesireto knowthetruth.Thisdoesnotonlyimplyaknowledgeoffactsbutalsoadeepunderstandingoflife,particularlywithregardtointrapersonalandinterpersonalmatters, includingknowledgeandacceptanceofthepositiveandnegativeaspectsofhumannature, oftheinherentlimitsofknowledge,andoflife’sunpredictabilityanduncertainties(Ardelt 2000 ;Brugman 2000 ;Kekes 1983 ).Adeepandundistortedcomprehensionofrealitycan onlybeachievedbyovercomingone’ssubjectivityandprojectionsthroughthepracticeof (self-)reection(Kekes 1995 ).The reective dimensionofwisdomhighlightsthisaspect andrepresentstheabilityandwillingnesstoinvestinself-examination,self-awarenessand self-insight.Itrequirestheperceptionofphenomenaandeventsfromdifferentperspectives andtheabilityto‘seethroughillusions’(McKeeandBarber 1999 ).AccordingtoKramer ( 1990 ,p.296),‘onemustbeabletorstbecomeawareofandthentranscendone’s projectionsbeforeonecandevelopboththeempathicskillsandthecognitiveprocesses associatedwithwisdom’.Reectivitytendstoreduceself-centeredness,whichleadstoa deeperunderstandingofone’sownandothers’motivesandbehavior,andislikelytoresult ingreatersympatheticandcompassionateloveforothers.All-encompassingsympathetic andcompassionateloveaccompaniedbyamotivationtofosterthewell-beingofall denotesthe compassionate componentofwisdom(AchenbaumandOrwoll 1991 ; CsikszentmihalyiandRathunde 1990 ;Levitt 1999 ;StaudingerandGlu ¨ ck 2011 ). Itshouldbenotedthatthisdenitionofwisdomdoesnotimplythatwiseindividuals willavoidorsuppressnegativeemotionstowardthemselvesorothersiftheyarise.Onthe contrary,throughself-awarenessandself-examination(thereectivewisdomdimension) wisepersonsareabletoacknowledge,regulate,andultimatelyovercometheirnegative Table2 Denitionandoperationalizationofwisdomasathree-dimensionalpersonalitycharacteristic DimensionDenitionOperationalization CognitiveAnunderstandingoflifeandadesireto knowthetruth,i.e.,tocomprehendthe signicanceanddeepermeaningof phenomenaandevents,particularlywith regardtointra-andinterpersonalmatters Includesknowledgeandacceptanceofthe positiveandnegativeaspectsofhuman nature,oftheinherentlimitsof knowledge,andoflife’sunpredictability anduncertainties Itemsorratingsassess theabilityandwillingnesstounderstanda situationorphenomenonthoroughly; knowledgeofthepositiveandnegative aspectsofhumannature; acknowledgementofambiguityand uncertaintyinlife; theabilitytomakeimportantdecisions despitelife’sunpredictabilityand uncertainties ReectiveAperceptionofphenomenaandeventsfrom multipleperspectives Requiresself-examination,self-awareness, andself-insight Itemsorratingsassess theabilityandwillingnesstolookat phenomenaandeventsfromdifferent perspectives; theabsenceofsubjectivityandprojections (i.e.,thetendencytoblameotherpeopleor circumstancesforone’sownsituationor feelings) CompassionateAll-encompassingsympatheticand compassionateloveaccompaniedbya motivationtofosterthewell-beingofall Requiresthetranscendenceofselfcenteredness Itemsorratingsassess thepresenceofpositive,caring,and nurturantemotionsandbehaviortoward others; theabsenceofindifferentornegative emotionsandbehaviortowardothers AdaptedfromArdelt( 2004 ) 484 A.Bergsma,M.Ardelt123

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emotionsandprojectionswithoutadverselyaffectingtheirownlivesandthatofothers (Webster 2003 ).Forexample,thepracticeofmindfulnessandmindfulnessmeditation appeartofacilitatetheacceptanceandeventualtranscendenceofnegativeemotionsand behavior(Barbieri 1997 ;Farbetal. 2010 ;Kabat-Zinn 2003 ;Specaetal. 2000 ).Asdened inthepresentstudy,wisdomhasautopianquality,butitshouldbepossibletoassesshow closepeoplecometothisidealstate(Ardelt 2004 ). 3WisdomandHappinessinPhilosophy Itisnothardtondsupportersoftheideathatwisdomisimportantforhappinessinthe historyofphilosophy.ThomasAquinas( 1923 ,p.3)wrote,‘Ofallhumanpursuits,thatof wisdomisthemostperfect,themostsublime,themostprotable,themostdelightful.’The professionofphilosophicalcounseling,whichusesphilosophicalmeansfortreating everydayproblemsandpredicaments,ispartlybasedonthisidea.Marinoff( 2003 )argued thatphilosophizingaboutlifehelpspeopletodevelopthepracticalwisdomthatenables themtodealwithlifemoreefciently.HismottoisthefollowingquotebyEpicure:‘Vain isthewordofthephilosopherwhichdoesnothealanysufferingofman.Forjustasthereis noprotinmedicineifitdoesnotexpelthediseasesofthebody,thereisnoprotin philosophyeitherifitdoesnotexpelthesufferingofthemind.’ Still,theideathatwisdomleadstohappinessiscontroversial.Wecanfeelbetter withoutgrowinginwisdom,asexempliedbytheuseofpsychotropicmedicationand behavioraltherapythatemploysbasiclearningmechanisms.Moreover,Amir( 2004 )stated thatstudyingphilosophysometimesleadstoconfusionordiscouragementandthatthe searchforwisdomthroughphilosophicalcounselingmightcontributetounhappiness.It canbeveryfrustratingtoacquireabetterunderstandingofone’spredicamentifonedoes nothavethemeanstoresolveit.Hence,wisdomorgreaterinsightmightharmhappiness. Inphilosophy,wisdomisnotonlyseenasalife-abilitythatmightenhancehappiness, butasagoalinitselfandassuch,wisdommightconictwithhappinessby,rst, increasingone’sinsightintolifeand,second,throughtherealizationthatotherthings mightbemoreimportantthanthepursuitofhappiness.Toillustratetherstdownsideof wisdom,Feldman( 2008 ,p.231)usedtheexampleof‘Timmy’whoisalwayscheerfulwith allthehappinessneurotransmittersowingaroundinhisbrain.Heneverthinksaboutalife goal,however,andwhenheispromptedtoreviewhislifeinthislighthe‘promptly becomesdespondentandwouldjudgehislifeasawholetohavebeenworthless’.Agrain ofwisdomhasmadeTimmyunhappy.Thispossibilityissummedupbythepopular expression‘sadderbutwiser’.Happinessappearstoprotfromembracing(unwise) positiveillusionsabouttherelativesuperiorityofourselves(HeadeyandWearing 1992 ). Withoutpositiveillusions,werunanelevatedriskfordepression.Thephenomenoncalled depressiverealismdescribesthetendencyofmildlydepressedpeopletoviewthemselves andtheworldrealistically(Collijn 1991 ). Second,ifwisdomencouragesustotranscendourself-interests,wemightchoose optionsinlifethataredetrimentaltohappiness.AccordingtoBuss( 2004 ),sometimesitis wisertoresistoppressionandtodowhatisright,evenifitinvolvessacricingour happiness,thantogoalongwithaharmfulsocialsystem.Forexample,Mohr( 1992 ) arguedthatdignityforhomosexualstakespreferenceovertheirfeelingsofhappinessand thatcomingoutisaformof‘communityduty’thatmighthelpimprovethepositionof homosexualsinthelongrun.Thesephilosophersdeemitwisetosacriceindividual happinessforthesakeofthegreatergood.Yet,paradoxically,thepursuitofaltruisticand WisdomandHappiness 485123

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virtuousgoalsmightultimatelyleadtogreaterandlongerlastinghappinessthanthedirect pursuitofsensorypleasures(RyanandDeci 2001 ). 4PersonalAdjustmentVersusGrowth Psychologistsdistinguishbetweenhedonicorsubjectivewell-being,suchashappiness,and eudaimonicorpsychologicalwell-being,whichreferstotheactualizationofhuman potentials,suchasgrowthinwisdom(RyanandDeci 2001 ;Ryff 1989 ;Waterman 1993 ). AccordingtoStaudingerandKunzmann( 2005 ),personaladjustment,describedaspositive developmentalchangesthathaveadaptivevaluefortheindividualaswellasthecommunity,islikelyaccompaniedbysubjectivewell-being.Adjustmententails‘thatwe becomeself-assuredandself-protected,whichhelpustoavert‘‘damage’’formourviewof theworldandourselves’(p.326).Yet,personalgrowthandwisdomtranscendthegiven societalcircumstancesandgobeyondintegrationinsocialstructuresandthemaintenance ofsubjectivewell-being.Growthischaracterizedby‘increasesinvirtuessuchasinsight, integrity,self-transcendence,andthestrivingtowardswisdom’(p.321).Theattainmentof wisdom,inturn,requirescriticalself-examination,exibility,toleranceofambiguity,and ‘extraordinaryeffortandmostlikelypain’(p.326).Moreover,sometimesadverselife circumstancesfosterthedevelopmentofwisdom(Ardelt 1998 ;Ardeltetal. 2010 ).This doesnotimply,however,thatwisdomisinverselyrelatedtohappiness,althoughthepath towisdommightnecessitatehardwork,self-discipline,andendurance(Pascual-Leone 2000 ).Forexample,forErikson( 1982 ),wisdomisthevirtuethatresultsaftertheresolutionofthepsychosocialcrisisofegointegrityversusdespairinoldage.Wisepeople knowhowtocopewithcrisesandhardshipsinlifeandtosustaintheiremotionalwellbeingevenindifcultcircumstances(Ardelt 1997 2005 ).Also,assumingthatacertain degreeofpersonaladjustmentisnecessarytodevelopwisdom(StaudingerandKunzmann 2005 ),wisepersonswillhaveahigherstartingpointofhappinessthanindividualswho havedifcultiesadjustingtolife. Ifitistrue,asmanywisdomresearchershaveargued,thatwiseindividualsknow‘‘the artofliving’’orhowtolivealifethatisgoodforoneself,goodforothers,andgoodforthe wholesociety(BaltesandStaudinger 2000 ;CsikszentmihalyiandNakamura 2005 ;Kekes 1995 ;Kramer 2000 ;Kupperman 2005 ;Sternberg 1998 ),theyshouldalsobecontentand satisedwithalifethatiswelllived(Ardelt 2000 ;Bianchi 1994 ;Clayton 1982 ;Vaillant 2002 ).Infact,CsikszentmihalyiandNakamura( 2005 )arguedthatthepursuitand attainmentofwisdommightbeintrinsicallyrewardingandjoyfulduetothetranscendence ofone’sself-centeredness.Happinessisnotazerosumgame,andoneofthebestwaysto becomehappyappearstobebycontributingtothehappinessofothers(Headeyand Wearing 1992 ). Wisdommightalsobenecessarytomakehappinesssustainable(Bergsma 2000 ).Kraut (citedinAverillandMore 1993 )offersthefollowingthoughtexperimenttoillustratethis point.Imagineyouarestillinhighschoolandvotedthemostpopularstudentbyyour peers.Youareelatedbecauseofthiswell-deservedrecognition,butafterwardsyoudiscoveritwasacruelhoax:inrealityyouarethelaughingstockoftheschool.Thehappiness youfeltontheeveningoftheelectionisnotsomethingtothinkbackofwithgratitude.We wanttobehappy,butweneedwisdomtoshieldusagainstpainfulillusions.Infact, happinesswithoutwisdommightbeshort-sighted.In Bright sided:Howtherelentless promotionofpositivethinkinghasunderminedAmerica, BarbaraEhrenreich( 2009 )argued 486 A.Bergsma,M.Ardelt123

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thatbeingwiserandmoreincontactwithrealitymightbehardattimesbutonaverage wouldmakeeverybodyhappierinthelongrun. 5EmpiricalResearchontheAssociationBetweenWisdomandHappiness Toourknowledge,onlytwostudieshaveexaminedtherelationbetweenwisdomand happinessperse,althoughanumberofstudieshaveanalyzedtheassociationbetween wisdomandmeasuresofsubjectivewell-being,suchaslifesatisfaction.Theempirical evidenceismixed,withsomestudiesndingapositiveassociationbetweenmeasuresof wisdomandwell-beingandothersfailingtodoso. Inasampleof158Canadianundergraduates,self-transcendentwisdom(Levenson etal. 2005 )waspositivelyrelatedtotheSubjectiveHappinessScale(Lyubomirskyand Lepper 1999 ),evenaftercontrollingforself-actualization(Beaumont 2009 ).Similarly,in asampleof177undergraduatestudentsfromtheUnitedStates,thereectiveand compassionatecomponentsofArdelt’s( 2003 )Three-DimensionalWisdomScale(3DWS)correlateddirectlywiththeSubjectiveHappinessScaleandinverselywithnegative affect,althoughthecognitivedimensionofthe3D-WSwasuncorrelatedwithbothscales (Neffetal. 2007 ). Inadditiontohappiness,wisdomhasbeenfoundtobepositivelyassociatedwith measuresofsubjectivewell-being.Forexample,inasampleconsistingofJewish CanadianandMuslimPakistanichildren,adolescents,andadults,higherwisdom, assessedbythe3D-WSandtheFoundationalValueScale(Jasonetal. 2001 ;Perry etal. 2002 ),wassignicantlyrelatedtogreaterlifesatisfaction(Ferrarietal. 2011 ). Similarly,instudiesofeconomicallydiversecommunitysamplesofprimarilyolder Whiteadults( M = 64years)andWhiteandAfricanAmericanolderadults ( M = 71years),the3D-WSwaspositivelycorrelatedwithlifesatisfaction(Le 2011 ) andgeneralwell-beingandnegativelyrelatedtodepressivesymptoms(Ardelt 2003 ).In aneducationaldiversesampleofWhiteolderwomen( M = 68years)andmen ( M = 70years),wisdom,measuredasacombinationofcognitive,reective,and compassionatepersonalitycharacteristicsfromtheCaliforniaQ-SortandHaan’s( 1969 ) EgoRatingScale,hadastrongerstatisticaleffectonlifesatisfactionthanobjective indicatorsofqualityoflife,suchasphysicalhealth,socioeconomicstatus,nancial situation,physicalenvironment,andsocialinvolvement(Ardelt 1997 ). Inasampleofmiddle-aged(36–59years; M = 45years)andolder(age [ 65; M = 70years)AmericanandJapaneseadults,boththereectiveandcompassionate syntheticwisdommodeandthecognitiveanalyticalwisdommodewerepositivelyassociatedwithlifesatisfaction(TakahashiandOverton 2002 ).Generalwisdom-related knowledge,measuredbytheBerlinWisdomParadigm(e.g.,Baltesetal. 1995 )wasalso positivelycorrelatedwithlifesatisfactioninaGermansampleofrelativelyhighlyeducated youngeradults( M = 30years)andolderadults( M = 67years),whereaspersonalwisdom,assessedasself-knowledge,growthandself-regulation,interrelatingtheself,selfrelativism,andtoleranceofambiguity,wasunrelatedtolifesatisfaction(Micklerand Staudinger 2008 ).Yet,inadifferentstudybyKunzmannandBaltes( 2003 )withan educationaldiverseGermansampleranginginagefrom15to70years,generalwisdomrelatedknowledgewasinverselycorrelatedwithbothpositive/pleasantaffect(e.g.,exuberant,happy,proud)andnegativeaffect(e.g.,angry,afraid,ashamed).Althoughwise individualsmightbemorelikelytobehappy,theymightbelesslikelytobeexuberantor WisdomandHappiness 487123

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proudduetoemotionregulation(Webster 2003 )andthetranscendenceoftheself (CsikszentmihalyiandNakamura 2005 ). Brugman( 2000 )whooperationalizedwisdomasexpertiseinuncertaintymeasuredby theEpistemicCognitionQuestionnaire(ECQ15)alsoobtainedcontradictoryresults.Ina sampleofhighlyeducatedolderadultsintheNetherlands( M = 74years),wisdomwas unrelatedtolifesatisfaction,buttheECQ15correlatedwithlifesatisfactioninaneducationaldiversesampleofmiddle-aged( M = 50years)andolder( M = 83years)Dutch participants(Brugman 2000 ).Finally,inasampleofcollege-educatedadultsaroundthe ageof52,neitherpracticalwisdom(assessedbycognitive,reective,andmatureadjectivesfromtheAdjectiveCheckList)nortranscendentwisdom(ratingsofrespondents’ examplesoftheirownwisdom)wassignicantlycorrelatedwithlifesatisfactionormarital satisfaction(WinkandHelson 1997 ). Itisconceivablethatthecontradictoryempiricalndingsareduetothedifferent measuresofwisdomandsubjectivewell-beingasstudiesvarywidelyintheoperationalizationoftheseelusiveconstructs.Anotherpossibilityisthatwisdomismore stronglyrelatedtosubjectivewell-beingamongsociallyandeconomicallydisadvantaged respondents,suchaswomen,minorities,elders,andindividualswithalowereducational background,whohavefewerresourcestondfulllment,satisfaction,andhappinessin theexternalenvironment.Forexample,itisnoteworthythatonlythetwostudieswith highlyeducatedmiddle-agedandolderadultsamplesdidnotndasignicantassociationbetweenmeasuresofwisdomandsatisfaction(Brugman 2000 ;WinkandHelson 1997 ).Wisdommightbeunrelatedtowell-beingandhappinessifexternallifequalities, lifechances,andliferesultsareoptimal(seeTable 1 ),butitmightbenecessaryfor greaterwell-beingandhappinessifexternallifequalitiesareproblematicandeconomic andphysicalresourcesarenotavailableoraredeclining(Ardelt 2000 ;Clayton 1982 ; Kekes 1995 ).Itiseasiertobehappywheneverythinggoeswellthanwhenlifeishard. Indifcultcircumstances,bettercopingskillsandwisdommightbeneededtoremain happy. 6ThePresentStudy Thepresentstudyseekstoexploretheassociationbetweenwisdomandfeelingsofhedonic happiness,usingaDutchinternetsample,bytestingthefollowinghypotheses. Hypothesis1 Wisdomandhappinessaremoderatelypositivelyrelated,evenafter controllingforsex,age,andeducationalattainment. Wisepeopleknowhowtocopewiththepainsinlifeandenjoyitspleasures,although theymightbemoreawareoflife’snegativeaspectsthroughtheirabilitytoseethrough illusions(McKeeandBarber 1999 ;Staudingeretal. 2005 ).Yet,itwasnotexpectedthat highwisdomscorerswerelesshappythanthosewithlowerwisdomscores.Totestforthis possibility,weanalyzedwhethertheassociationbetweenwisdomandhappinesswas curvilinear. Hypothesis2 Ifwisdomismoreimportantforhappinessindifcultcircumstances,the correlationbetweenwisdomandhappinesswillbestrongerforwomenthanmen,older adultsthanyoungerandmiddle-agedadults,andindividualswithlowerratherthangreater educationalattainment. 488 A.Bergsma,M.Ardelt123

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7Method 7.1Procedure OnJanuary31,2009, DeVolkskrant, anationalnewspaperinTheNetherlands,published severalopinionpiecesonwisdomandofferedtheirreaderstheopportunitytotakeanonline‘wisdomtest.’Atthewebsite,readershadtheoptiontolloutastandardizedon-line surveyconsistingofthe39itemsoftheThree-DimensionalWisdomScale(Ardelt 2003 ). Afterrespondingtotheitems,theywereaskedwhethertheywantedtoreceivefeedbackon their‘wisdomscore’immediatelyorwerewillingtoparticipateinastudyandanswerve additionalquestionsabouttheirage,gender,education,andhappiness.Readerseither clickedonabuttonlabeled‘Yes,includemyanswersinthestudy’or‘No,donotinclude myanswersinthestudy.’Iftheyclickedonthe‘Yes’button,theywereaskedabouttheir age,gender,levelofeducation,andtheircurrentandpasthappiness.Aftersubmittingthose answers,participantsreceivedtheiraveragescoresforthecognitive,reective,and compassionatedimensionsofwisdomandtheiroverallwisdomscore.Ifreadersclickedon the‘No’buttoninstead,theyreceivedtheiraveragewisdomscoresimmediately.General interpretationsofscoresbelowthemidpointofthe1–5scales(ascoreof \ 3),slightly abovethemidpoint(ascorebetween3and \ 4),andinthetopofthescale(ascorebetween 4and5)wereprovidedby DeVolkskrant. 7.2Measures 7.2.1Happiness Happinesswasmeasuredbytwosinglequestions(‘Howhappydoyoufeeltoday?’and ‘Allconsidering,howhappyhaveyoufeltinthelast3months?’)onascalerangingfrom0 (veryunhappy)to9(veryhappy).Thecorrelationbetweenthetwoitemswas.58 ( p \ .001).Singleitemhappinessmeasureshavebeenshowntohavegoodconcurrentand convergentvalidityandseemtobereliable,valid,andviableincommunitysurveys (Abdel-Khalek 2006 ). 7.2.2Wisdom Wisdomwasassessedbythecognitive,reective,andcompassionatedimensionsofthe 3D-WS(seeTable 2 ).The14itemsofthecognitivedimensionwereallwordednegatively, measuringaninabilityorunwillingnesstounderstandasituationorphenomenonthoroughly(e.g.,‘Ignoranceisbliss’),atendencytoseetheworldaseitherblackorwhite(e.g., ‘Peopleareeithergoodorbad’),anunawarenessofambiguityanduncertaintyinlife(e.g., ‘Thereisonlyonerightwaytodoanything’),andaninabilitytomakeimportantdecision despitelife’sunpredictabilityanduncertainties(‘Iamhesitantaboutmakingimportant decisionsafterthinkingaboutthem’).The12itemsofthereectivewisdomdimension assessedtheabilityandwillingnesstolookatphenomenaandeventsfromdifferentperspectives(e.g.,‘Ialwaystrytolookatallsidesofaproblem’)andtheabsenceofsubjectivityandprojections(e.g.,‘Thingsoftengowrongformebynofaultofmyown’– reversed).The13itemsofthecompassionatewisdomdimensiongaugedthepresenceof positive,caring,andnurturantemotionsandbehavior(e.g.,‘SometimesIfeelareal compassionforeveryone’),includingthemotivationtofosterthewell-beingofothers WisdomandHappiness 489123

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(e.g.,‘IfIseepeopleinneed,Itrytohelpthemonewayoranother’),andtheabsenceof indifferentornegativeemotionsandbehaviortowardothers(e.g.,‘Iamannoyedby unhappypeoplewhojustfeelsorryforthemselves’–reversed). Allitemswereassessedontwo5-pointscales,rangingeitherfrom1(‘stronglyagree’) to5(‘stronglydisagree’)orfrom1(‘denitelytrueofmyself’)to5(‘nottrueofmyself’) andwerescoredinthedirectionofhighercognitive,reective,andcompassionatewisdom characteristicsbeforetheaverageoftheitemswascomputedseparatelyforthethree wisdomdimensions.Cronbach’s a -valuesforthecognitive,reective,andcompassionate dimensionsofwisdomwere.72,.74,and.66,respectively.Toobtainacompositewisdom score,theaverageofthethreedimensionswastaken.Thecorrelationbetweenthethree dimensionsrangedfrom.48( p \ .001)to.53( p \ .001),resultinginan a -valueof.75. Anearlierstudywitholderadultswhowereunawarethattheywerecompletinga wisdomquestionnaireshowedthatthe3D-WShadadequateconstruct,content,predictive, discriminant,andconvergentvalidityandrelativelyhigh10-monthtest–retestreliability (Ardelt 2003 ).The3D-WShasalsosuccessfullybeenusedinsamplesofadolescents (BaileyandRussell 2008 )andyoungadultsfromdifferentculturalbackgrounds(Ardelt 2010 ;Benedikovic ova andArdelt 2008 ;Ferrarietal. 2011 )andwassignicantlycorrelated( r = .33)withWebster’s( 2003 2007 )Self-AdministeredWisdomScale(SAWS)in anage-diverseinternetsamplethatoriginatedinAustralia(Ardelt 2011a ;Tayloretal. 2011 ). 7.2.3DemographicCharacteristics Sexwasmeasuredasadichotomousvariable(0 = male,1 = female).Althoughitwas originallyplannedtomeasureageinyears, DeVolkskrant decidedtoassessagebyseven agecategoriesrangingfrom0(lessthan20years)to6(age70andabove).Educational attainmentwasgaugedbyvecategoriesrangingfrom0(elementaryeducation–completed ornot)to4(highervocationaleducationoruniversityeducation). 7.3Sample Thesampleincluded7037respondentswhocompletedallofthequestionsoftheon-line surveyof DeVolkskrant betweenJanuary31,2009andMarch,9,2009andgaveinformed consentfortheinclusionoftheiranswersinaresearchstudy.Sixty-twopercentofthe participantswerefemale,andoverhalf(53%)werebetweentheagesof40and59years (seeTable 3 ).Themajorityoftherespondents(60%)hadahighervocationaloruniversity education.Hence,thesamplewasnotrepresentativeoftheDutchpopulationbutwas skewedinamiddleaged,highereducateddirection. 7.4Analysis Bivariatecorrelations(Pearson’s r )wereperformedrsttoexaminewhetherthethree dimensionsofwisdomandthedemographicvariablescorrelatedsimilarlywiththetwo happinessitemstojustifyaveragingthetwoitemsintoonehappinessmeasure.Duetothe largesamplesize,wechoseastrictersignicancelevelof.01insteadoftheusual.05level ofsignicance.AnestedmultivariateOLSregressionanalysiswasemployedtotest Hypotheses1.Weanalyzedwhethertherelationbetweenwisdomandhappinesswas curvilinearbyincludingthesquareofthewisdomscoreinthemodel.Interactioneffects 490 A.Bergsma,M.Ardelt123

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betweenwisdomanddemographicgroupsweresubsequentlyaddedtothemodelina forwardregressionproceduretotestwhethertheassociationbetweenwisdomandhappinesswassignicantlystrongerforrelativelydisadvantagedsex,age,andeducational groupsasstatedinHypothesis2.Wisdomwascenteredatthemeanfortheregression analysestominimizetheeffectsofmulticollinearity. 8Results 8.1CorrelationsBetweenHappinessMeasures,WisdomDimensions, andDemographicVariables AsshowninTable 3 ,thethreedimensionsofwisdomwerepositivelyrelatedtothetwo happinessitems,althoughthecorrelationswiththereectivedimensionofwisdomwere strongerthanwiththecognitiveandcompassionatewisdomdimensions.Amoredetailed analysisofthereectivedimensionrevealedthatthepresenceofself-examination,selfawareness,andself-insight,expressedasanabsenceofsubjectivityandprojections,had thestrongestcorrelationwithhappinesstoday( r = 0.42, p \ .001)andhappinessinthe Table3 Bivariatecorrelationmatrixbetweenhappinessmeasures,wisdomdimensions,anddemographic variables (1)(2)(3)(4)(5) M SD (1)Howhappydoyoufeeltoday?–7.161.18 (2)Howhappyhaveyoufeltinthelast 3months? .58**–6.951.37 (3)Cognitivedimensionofwisdom.17**.16**–3.72.45 (4)Reectivedimensionofwisdom.35**.38**.53**–3.81.46 (5)Affectivedimensionofwisdom.13**.10**.48**.48**–3.42.42 (6)Sex(1 = female).01 .02 .01 .03.12**.62.48 (7)Agelessthan20years .05** .05** .09** .13** .04**.05.23 (8)Age20–29years .04** .00.01.01.02.09.29 (9)Age30–39years.00.02.06**.04**.02.14.35 (10)Age40–49years.01 .01.10**.07**.06**.24.43 (11)Age50–59years.01 .02.04**.03**.02.29.45 (12)Age60–69years.03.04** .10** .06** .07**.15.36 (13)Age70yearsandabove.02.02 .13** .07** .06**.03.18 (14)Elementaryeducation(completedornot) .04** .04** .07** .06** .01.02.13 (15)Lowervocationalorgeneralintermediate education .05** .07** .17** .13** .06**.06.24 (16)Intermediatevocationalorgeneral secondaryeducation .05** .07** .17** .13** .06**.19.39 (17)Highergeneralsecondaryeducation .01.01 .04** .02 -.03**.13.34 (18)Highervocationaleducationoruniversity.08**.09**.26**.20**.10**.60.49 Listwisedeletionofcases, n = 7037 ** p \ 0.01 WisdomandHappiness 491123

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last3months( r = 0.46, p \ .001),whereastheabilityandwillingnesstolookatphenomenaandeventsfromdifferentperspectiveswasmoremoderatelyassociatedwith happinesstodayandinthelast3months( r = 0.16, p \ .001witheachhappinessitem;not shownintable).Allofthevariablesweresimilarlycorrelatedwiththetwohappinessitems andthethreedimensionofwisdom,whichjustiedaveragingthetwohappinessitemsinto onehappinessmeasureandthethreewisdomdimensionsintoonecompositewisdom score. Genderwasunrelatedtothehappinessitems.Theassociationbetweenageandhappinessappearedtobeslightlycurvilinearwithrespondentsunderage30beinglesshappy thanotheragegroups.Thecorrelationbetweeneducationalattainmentandhappiness,by contrast,waspositiveandmorelinear. Womentendedtoscorehigheronthecompassionatewisdomdimensionthanmendid. Respondentsyoungerthanage20andolderthanage59tendedtoscoreloweronthethree dimensionsofwisdom,whereasrespondentsbetweentheagesof30and59tendedtoscore higheronthethreewisdomdimensions.Allthosecorrelations,however,wererelatively weak,exceptforasomewhatstrongerpositiveassociationbetweenahighervocationalor universityeducationandthecognitiveandreectivedimensionsofwisdom,partially supportingpriorresearch(Ardelt 2010 ). 8.2PredictorsofHappiness Anestedmultivariateregressionanalysiswasconductedtotestthetwohypotheses.Based onthebivariatecorrelationanalysesinTable 3 ,theaverageofthetwohappinessitemswas computedtoobtainasinglehappinessmeasureasthedependentvariableandthethree dimensionsofwisdomwereaveragedtoconstructacompositewisdomscore.InModel2, sex,age,andeducationalcategorieswereenteredseparatelyintotheregressionequation withtheyoungestagecategory(agelessthan20years)andthehighesteducation(higher vocationaloruniversityeducation)astheomittedcategories.Model3testedforthe presenceofinteractioneffectsbetweenwisdomandtheindividualsex,age,andeducationalcategoriesinaforwardregressionproceduretominimizeproblemswith multicollinearity. AspredictedinHypothesis1,thebivariatecorrelationbetweenthecompositewisdom andhappinessscaleswassignicant( r = 0.30, p \ .001).However,asshowninModel1 inTable 4 ,theassociationbetweenwisdomandhappinesswascurvilinear.Figure 1 comparesthebivariateassociationbetweenwisdomandhappinesswiththequadratic relationshowninModel1,displayedfortheoriginal1–5wisdomscale.Thequadratic relationsuggeststhatcomparedtoalinearassociationbetweenwisdomandhappiness, respondentsatthelowerendofthewisdomscaletendedtoreportlesshappiness,whereas thepredictedincrementalgaininhappinessdeclinedatthehigherendofthewisdomscale. Yet,happinesswasnotexpectedtodecreaseathigherlevelsofwisdomastheturningpoint ofthequadraticfunction(at6.13)liesbeyondthescaleendpointforwisdom. Wisdomexplained9.2%ofthevariationinhappinessandwasastrongerpredictorof happinessthananyofthedemographicvariablesinModel2,whichtogetherexplained another1%ofitsvariation.Olderadultsabovetheageof59tendedtobesignicantly happierthanrespondentsundertheageof20,andrespondentswithalowervocationalor generalintermediateeducationtendedtobesomewhatlesshappythanthosewithahigher vocationaloruniversityeducation,althoughtheeffectsofageandeducationweremodest. Menandwomenappearedtobeequallyhappy. 492 A.Bergsma,M.Ardelt123

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Table4 Effectsofwisdomanddemographiccharacteristicsonhappiness;nestedmultivariateregression analysis IndependentvariablesModel1 n = 7037Model2 n = 7037Model3 n = 7037Model4 n = 5994 b b b b b b b b Wisdom(meancentered).93.30***.94.30***.98.32***.94.31*** Wisdomsquared .19 .04** .18 .03** .20 .04** .20 .04** Demographiccontrols Sex(1 = female) .01 .00 .01 .00 .01 .00 Agelessthan20ReferenceReferenceNotincluded Age20–29years .03 .01 .02 .01Notincluded Age30–39years.05.02.05.02Reference Age40–49years.02.01.02.01 .03 .01 Age50–59years.04.01.04.02 .01 .01 Age60–69years.25.08***.26.08***.21.07*** Age70yearsandabove.42.07***.42.07***.37.06*** Elementaryeducation .23 .03 .22 .02.13.01 Lower/intermediate .16 .03** .14 .03 .12 .03 Intermediate/secondary.07 .03 .06 .02 .07 .03 Highersecondaryeduc..00.00 .01 .00 .01 .00 HighereducationReferenceReferenceReference Interactioneffects Wisdom*highersec .36 .04** Wisdom*elementary1.03.05*** R2.092.102.104.106 R2change–.01***.001**– ** p \ 0.01,*** p \ 0.001 Fig.1 Linearandquadraticassociationbetweenself-reportedwisdomandhappiness WisdomandHappiness 493123

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Weusedaforwardregressionproceduretotestwhetheranyoftheinteractioneffects betweenwisdomandthesex,age,andeducationalgroupsweresignicantasexpectedin Hypothesis2.AsshowninModel3inTable 4 ,onlytheinteractioneffectwithhigher generalsecondaryeducationwasstatisticallysignicant,indicatingthattherelation betweenwisdomandhappinesswassignicantlysmallerforrespondentswithahigher generalsecondaryeducationthanthosewithahighervocationaloruniversityeducation, rejectingHypothesis2. Becauserespondentsinthetwoyoungestagegroupsmightstillbeineducational trainingand,therefore,theirnaleducationalattainmentstatusisunknown,theanalysis wasrepeatedwithoutrespondentsundertheageof30.AsModel4inTable 4 shows,the interactioneffectbetweenwisdomandelementaryeducationwaspositiveandstatistically signicant.Thismeansthattherelationbetweenwisdomandhappinesswassignicantly strongerforrespondentswithonlyanelementaryeducationthanthosewithahigher vocationaloruniversityeducation,supportingHypothesis2forrespondentsage30and older. 9Discussion TheresultsofthisDutchinternetstudyrevealedthatwisdom,measuredasacombination ofself-reportedcognitive,reective,andcompassionatepersonalitycharacteristics,was positivelyandmoderatelyrelatedtoself-reportedhappiness,evenaftercontrollingforsex, age,andeducation,conrmingHypothesis1.Thequadraticrelationbetweenwisdomand happinesssigniesthathappinessgainswithgreaterwisdomtendedtobeloweramong highwisdomscorersthanamonglowerwisdomscorersaswisepersonsmightfocusmore oneudaimonicwell-beingratherthanhedonichappiness(MicklerandStaudinger 2008 ; StaudingerandGlu ¨ ck 2011 ).Yet,thequadraticassociationalsosuggeststhatrelatively lowwisdomaffectshedonichappinessmorethanhighlevelsofwisdom,indicatingthata lackofwisdommightindeedbedetrimentaltohappiness. Hypothesis2wasrejected.Wisdomwasnotmorestronglyrelatedtohappinessfor womenthanmenandolderadultsthanyoungerandmiddle-agedadults.Thissuggeststhat wisdomisequallybenecialformenandwomenandindividualsatallstagesofthelife course.Yet,beingfemaleoroldbyitselfisprobablynotagoodindicatorfordifcultlife circumstances.Totestthehypothesisthatwisdomismostbenecialforsubjectivewellbeingforindividualsinadversecircumstances,morespecicinformationaboutthe respondents’economic,social,andphysicalresourceswouldbeneeded.However,it shouldbenotedthatamongthesmallgroupofrespondentsovertheageof29withonlyan elementaryeducation,wisdomdidhaveasignicantlystrongerassociationwithhappiness thanamongthosewithahighervocationaloruniversityeducation,asstatedinHypothesis 2.Wisdommighthaveagreaterimpactonhappinesswhenexternallifequalitiesandlife chancesarenotoptimalbyfacilitatingcopingwithobstaclesandhardshipsandenablingan appreciationofthegoodthingsinlife(Ardelt 2000 2005 ;Clayton 1982 ;Kekes 1995 ). Amongthedemographiccharacteristics,onlythetwooldestagegroups(age60and above)wereconsistentlypositivelyrelatedtohappinesscomparedtotheyoungestage groupaftercontrollingforwisdomandtheotherdemographicvariablesinthemodels.This positiveeffectoftheoldestagegroupsonhappinessillustratesthewell-knownparadoxof aging(RyanandDeci 2001 )thathappinesstendstoincreasewithadvancingagedespite age-relatedchallengesandlosses(Carstensen 1998 ;MroczekandKolarz 1998 ). 494 A.Bergsma,M.Ardelt123

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Ourresultsshowthathedonichappinessandwisdomarenotasincompatibleassome philosophershavestated.Thismeansthataclassicalobjectiontotheutilitarianidealofthe greatesthappinessforthegreatestnumberofpeoplehasbeenempiricallyrefuted.Thereis noreasontoexpectthatapigrollingaroundinthemudwouldbehappierthanaSocrates whoreectsontherealityoflife,asJohnStuartMillalreadyargued( 1990 [1863],p.332). OrasJahoda( 1958 )remarked,theviewthatrealityishostiletoindividualsisunqualied. OurresultlendssupporttoBentham’s( 1789 [1970])philosophyandtheworkofmodern scholarssuchasLayard( 2005 )andKahnemanetal.( 1997 ). Still,ourresultsalsohighlightthattheoverlapbetweenwisdomandhappinessissmall. Inourstudy,wisdomexplainedonlyabout9%ofthevariationinhappinessinthecombinedsample,andsex,age,andeducationalattainmentexplainedanadditional1%.This indicatesthatotherfactorsbesideswisdomcontributetohappiness(RyanandDeci 2001 ). Or,toputitmorephilosophically,althoughSophocles’dictumthat‘wisdomisthesupreme partofhappiness’(quotedinCsikszentmihalyiandRathunde 1990 ,p.36)mightbetruefor wisepeople,wisdomisclearlynottheonlysourceofhedonichappiness. Alternativeexplanationsforthecorrelationbetweenwisdomandhappinesscouldbe addressedinfuturestudies.Perhapsaspectsofpersonalitythatinuencehappiness,also contributetoacquiringwisdom.Forexample,Neffetal.( 2007 )foundthatcuriositywas positivelycorrelatedwithbothhappinessandthecognitive,reective,andcompassionate dimensionsofwisdom.Itisthereforepossiblethatpersonalityfactorsexplainthepositive correlationbetweenwisdomandhappiness. Onemajorlimitationofthestudyistheon-lineconveniencesamplethatwasnot representativeofthegeneralDutchpopulation.Women,middle-agedadults,andpeopleof highereducationalattainmentwereoverrepresented,whichmighthaveinuencedthe results,althoughwecontrolledforthosedemographiccharacteristicsintheanalyses.Our samplewasalsoselectiveamonghigheragegroups.Olderadultswhousetheinternet mightbemoreeducated,economicallyprivileged,healthier,and/orresourcefulthanthose whodonot,whichmightexplainthelackofasignicantinteractioneffectbetweenthe olderadultagegroupsandwisdomonhappiness.Itisstillpossiblethatolderadultsin generalandparticularlydisadvantagedolderadultsbenetmorefromwisdomthan youngerindividuals.Anotherlimitationisthatrespondentsknewtheywerecompletinga wisdomandhappinessquestionnaire,whichmighthavebiasedtheiranswersinamore sociallydesirableand‘wise’direction.Resultsmighthavebeendifferentifaperformancebasedwisdommeasurethatwasunaffectedbysocialdesirabilitybiasandinaccurateselfjudgementshadbeenused(StaudingerandGlu ¨ ck 2011 ).Moreover,thewisdomtestwas probablyanimportantreasonwhymanyparticipantsvisitedthewebsiteofthenewspaper intherstplace.Asaconsequence,peoplewithmorethananaverageinterestinwisdom wereprobablyoverrepresentedinthesample,whichmighthavefurtherbiasedthendings. Itispossiblethatthecorrelationbetweenwisdomandhappinesswouldhavebeenstronger inamorediversesampleandifrespondentshadbeenunawareofthepurposeofthestudy, whichmighthaveincreasedthevariabilityofthewisdomandhappinessscores.Acommon methodbiasmighthavealsoaffectedtheresults,althoughwetriedtominimizetheeffect ofcommonmethodvariancebyguaranteeinganonymity,presentingthewisdomquestionnairerstandthehappinessquestionslast,andusingdifferentanswerscalesforthe wisdomquestionnaireandthehappinessquestions(Podsakoffetal. 2003 ). Finally,thecross-sectionalnatureofthedatadoesnotallowustodeterminethecausalityoftherelationbetweenwisdomandhappiness,althoughwesuspectthatthecausality isbidirectional.Wisdomprobablyhasamodestpositiveinuenceonhedonichappinessby helpingpeopletoreectontheircircumstancestocopebetterwithlife’shardships(Ardelt WisdomandHappiness 495123

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2005 ).Furthermore,thedevelopmentofwisdombyitselfmightberewardingandjoyful throughtheexperienceofself-transcendence(CsikszentmihalyiandNakamura 2005 ).But happinessmightalsofosterwisdom.Positiveaffectandsubjectivewell-beingmight facilitateself-reectionandadesiretoexploretheworldwhich,inturn,mightstimulate thedevelopmentofwisdom(CacioppoandGardner 1999 ;FredricksonandBranigan 2005 ; MicklerandStaudinger 2008 ).Itislikelythatthepursuitofwisdomandhappiness reciprocallyfacilitateeachotherbutarestilllargelyindependentprocesses.Futurelongitudinalresearchwillneedtoexaminetherelativecontributionsofwisdomandother variablestotheattainmentofhappinessandwhetheritismorelikelythatwisdomincreases happinessorhappinessincreasesfuturewisdom.OpenAccess ThisarticleisdistributedunderthetermsoftheCreativeCommonsAttributionNoncommercialLicensewhichpermitsanynoncommercialuse,distribution,andreproductioninanymedium, providedtheoriginalauthor(s)andsourcearecredited.ReferencesAbdel-Khalek,A.M.(2006).Measuringhappinesswithasingle-itemscale. SocialBehaviorandPersonality,34 (2),139–150.doi: 10.2224/sbp.2006.34.2.139 Achenbaum,A.W.,&Orwoll,L.(1991).Becomingwise:Apsycho-gerontologicalinterpretationofthe BookofJob. InternationalJournalofAgingandHumanDevelopment,32 (1),21–39. Amir,L.B.(2004).Threequestionableassumptionsofphilosophicalcounseling. InternationalJournalof PhilosophicalPractice,2 (1),9–18. Aquinas,T.(1923). Summacontragentiles .London:BurnsOates&WashbourneLtd. Ardelt,M.(1997).Wisdomandlifesatisfactioninoldage. JournalofGerontology:PsychologicalSciences, 52B (1),P15–P27. Ardelt,M.(1998).Socialcrisisandindividualgrowth:Thelong-termeffectsoftheGreatDepression. JournalofAgingStudies,12 (3),291–314. Ardelt,M.(2000).Intellectualversuswisdom-relatedknowledge:Thecaseforadifferentkindoflearningin thelateryearsoflife. EducationalGerontology:AnInternationalJournalofResearchandPractice, 26 (8),771–789. Ardelt,M.(2003).Empiricalassessmentofathree-dimensionalwisdomscale. ResearchonAging,25 (3), 275–324. Ardelt,M.(2004).Wisdomasexpertknowledgesystem:Acriticalreviewofacontemporaryoperationalizationofanancientconcept. HumanDevelopment,47 (5),257–285. Ardelt,M.(2005).Howwisepeoplecopewithcrisesandobstaclesinlife. ReVision:AJournalofConsciousnessandTransformation,28 (1),7–19. Ardelt,M.(2010).Areolderadultswiserthancollegestudents?Acomparisonoftwoagecohorts. Journal ofAdultDevelopment,17 (4),193–207.doi: 10.1007/s10804-009-9088-5 Ardelt,M.(2011a).Themeasurementofwisdom:AcommentaryonTaylor,Bates,andWebster’scomparisonoftheSAWSand3D-WS. ExperimentalAgingResearch,37 (2),241–255.doi: 10.1080/0361073X.2011.554509 Ardelt,M.(2011b).Wisdom,age,andwell-being.InK.W.Schaie&S.L.Willis(Eds.), Handbookofthe psychologyofaging (7thed.,pp.279–291).Amsterdam,TheNetherlands:Elsevier. Ardelt,M.,Landes,S.D.,&Vaillant,G.E.(2010).Thelong-termeffectsofWorldWarIIcombatexposure onlaterlifewell-beingmoderatedbygenerativity. ResearchinHumanDevelopment,7 (3),202–220. doi: 10.1080/15427609.2010.504505 Ardelt,M.,&Oh,H.(2010).Wisdom:Denition,assessment,anditsrelationtosuccessfulcognitiveand emotionalaging.InD.Jeste&C.Depp(Eds.), Successfulcognitiveandemotionalaging (pp.87–113). Washington,DC:AmericanPsychiatricPublishing. Aristoteles(350B.C.E.).Nicomacheanethics(D.C.Stevenson,Ed.,W.D.Ross,Trans.) TheInternet classicsarchive. WebAtomics.Retrievedfrom http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.html Averill,J.R.,&More,T.A.(1993).Happiness.InM.Lewis&J.M.Haviland(Eds.), Handbookof emotions (pp.617–629).NewYork,NY:GuilfordPress. Bailey,A.,&Russell,K.C.(2008).Psycho-socialbenetsofaservice-learningexperience. Journalof UnconventionalParks,Tourism&RecreationResearch,1 (1),9–16. 496 A.Bergsma,M.Ardelt123

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