Real-time measurement of wise personality cognition: Evidence from mouse tracking

  • Haiqing Li
  • Fengyan WangEmail author


There is no uniform definition of wisdom. In a psychological context, wisdom can be described as a comprehensive psychological trait integrating virtue and intelligence. Although the outcomes of wise personality characteristics have been studied, the temporal dynamics of real-time processing of wise personality remain elusive. In the current study, mouse tracking techniques were used to explore the cognitive dynamics of real-time processing of wise personality in two experiments. Study 1 showed that when participants were required to categorize wise and unwise characteristics in compatible and incompatible trials, the mouse trajectories showed a continuous spatial attraction toward the compatibility between wisdom and the wise characteristics. Further, in two dimensions of the wise personality, wisdom and the competence dimension were more closely linked. In Study 2, the mouse trajectories revealed that the connections among the different types of wisdom and between the two dimensions of wise personality were distinguished through the priming social categories. Natural wisdom showed a stronger connection with the competence dimension, whereas human wisdom showed a stronger tendency to be associated with the virtue dimension. The current study demonstrated that wisdom is the integration of virtue and competence and that competence can be regarded as the primary feature of wise individuals.


Wisdom Wise personality Types of wise individuals Mouse tracking Priming social categories 



This research was supported by the key research center funding of Humanities & Social Science of Ministry of Education China (Grant No. 16JJD880026) and the funding of Humanities & Social Science of Ministry of Education China (Grant No. 12YJC90017).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest to this work.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Moral Education ResearchNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of PsychologyNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyQufu Normal UniversityQufuChina

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