Assessing the Relationships Among Wisdom, Humility, and Life Satisfaction
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The purpose of this study was to test two hypotheses that specify different ways of configuring the interface between wisdom and humility. The first hypothesis specifies that greater wisdom is associated with greater humility. This hypothesis is based on the notion that wisdom is needed in order to know when to activate the virtue of humility. The second hypothesis specifies that the relationship between humility and life satisfaction will vary according to the level of wisdom that is possessed by study participants. This hypothesis is based on the notion that wisdom is needed to successfully implement and regulate humility once it has been activated. The data come from a nationwide survey of middle-aged and older adults (N = 1535). The data support both hypotheses. First greater wisdom is associated with greater humility. Second, the results suggest that the relationship between humility and life satisfaction varies across levels of wisdom. The findings help ground the study of wisdom more firmly in the literature on virtues.
KeywordsWisdom Humility Well-being
This research was supported by grants from the John Templeton Foundation and the National Institute on Aging (RO1 AG014749).
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