Wise Thinking, Hopeful Thinking, and Positive Aging: Reciprocal Relations of Wisdom, Hope, Memory, and Affect in Young, Middle-Aged, and Older Adults

Chapter
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 51)

Abstract

This chapter deals with wisdom, a character strength that holds a prominent position in positive psychology. An empirical study is reported that aimed at investigating the relationships of wise and hopeful thinking, between them, and with psychological functioning in terms of everyday memory and state affect from young to late adulthood. The participants (N446) were divided into three age groups (M 26.8, 49.9, 72.3 years, respectively). Three questionnaires were used to measure (a) wise thinking (as integrated dialectical thinking and practical thinking), (b) hopeful thinking (as pathways thought and agency thinking), and (c) state affect (positive and negative). Memory was assessed with the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test (Wilson BA, Cockburn J, Baddeley AD, The Rivermead behavioural memory test: manual, 2nd edn., Thames Valley Test Company, Suffolk, 1991). To examine the reciprocal relations between the dimensions of wisdom, hope, memory, and affect, a series of specific non-recursive path models was tested. Based on the confirmed non-recursive models, an all-embracing recursive path model was finally verified into which age and individual demographic factors were added as covariates. The findings showed that state positive affect predicted hope as pathways thought. Pathways thought predicted wisdom as integrated dialectical thinking which, finally, predicted memory performance. State affect, both positive and negative, predicted hope as agency thinking, and it was this aspect of hope that predicted practical wisdom. Age positively influenced hopeful and wise thinking, directly and indirectly.

Keywords

Positive Affect State Affect Practical Wisdom State Negative Affect State Positive Affect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We greatly appreciate the time and efforts of the participants and of psychology students who collected the data of the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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