The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 471–473 | Cite as

A Process Model of Wisdom from Adversity

  • Michel FerrariEmail author
  • Igor Grossmann
  • Stephen Grimm
  • Julia Staffel

How might one measure the wisdom one gains from adversity? To answer this question, it is essential to define the central terms. Social scientists and philosophers have defined wisdom in a number of ways (Ardelt, 2003; Staudinger & Glück, 2011). In the present paper, we will build on the idea that wisdom involves knowledge about how to live well, which includes knowledge of what is more or less important for well being (Grimm, 2015). From this perspective, adversity can mean any situation that is appraised by a person as a challenge to well-being and the good life (e.g., trauma, transgressions, daily stressors). Gains in wisdom would involve learning that emerges through mastering this adversity—learning that may result in a new outlook on the adverse experience, including lessons for how to cope with similar adversity in the future. This point of view suggests the need for a process-oriented account of emotion regulation (Sheppes, Scheibe, Suri & Gross, 2011; Smith & Kirby, 2009) to...



Work on this manuscript was supported by the NYC Wisdom Seminar Fellowship (to M. F., I. G., and J. S.), the Templeton Religion Trust and The University of Oklahoma Grant 311678 (to M. F.), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grants 435-2014-0685 (to I.G.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel Ferrari
    • 1
    Email author
  • Igor Grossmann
    • 2
  • Stephen Grimm
    • 3
  • Julia Staffel
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology, Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  3. 3.Fordham UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Washington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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