The MORE Life Experience Model: A Theory of the Development of Personal Wisdom

  • Judith GlückEmail author
  • Susan Bluck


Why do a few people become wiser in the course of their lives – while most of us do not? This chapter presents a conceptual model of the development of wisdom, based on previous work on wisdom, life-span development, growth from negative experiences, and autobiographical memory. The core assumption is that life challenges are the main catalysts of the development of wisdom – but only in individuals who bring certain resources with them. These resources are a sense of mastery, openness, reflectivity, and emotion regulation/empathy – in short, MORE. The chapter lays out the theoretical background of the model, discusses each resource in detail, and describes how the resources influence which life experiences people encounter, how they appraise them and deal with them, and how they integrate them into their life story. The model is illustrated by data from two empirical studies. The first study investigated people’s autobiographical narratives of situations in which they had been wise. The second study, which is currently in progress, tests predictions from the MORE Life Experience Model directly.


Emotion Regulation Life Experience Autobiographical Memory Life Story Posttraumatic Growth 
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.



1. The research reported in this chapter was funded by grants from the Austrian Research Fund FWF (P21011, “The development and manifestation of wisdom”) and from the John Templeton Foundation through the University of Chicago’s Defining Wisdom Project. 2. We are grateful to Lara Dorner, Susanne König, Katja Naschenweng, and Uwe Redzanowski for their great ideas and creativity and for their hard work in data collection and project administration.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAlpen-Adria-Universität KlagenfurtKlagenfurtAustria
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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