Am I wise?  Are you?  Let’s find out

On this journey of seeking wisdom and hoping to nurture it within ourselves, I’ve discovered various groups of researchers who are diligently working on creating what they call “wisdom scales.” In my previous post, I delved into the common elements that these scales tend to measure.

One particular scale piqued my interest – the “Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale” (3D-WS), crafted by the insightful Dr. Monica Ardelt. I couldn’t help but be drawn in after listening to her interview from the documentary film, ‘The Science of Wisdom.’ Her path to investigating wisdom, driven by her research on aging, dying, spirituality, and the human experience, was compelling.  

Dr. Ardelt’s scale breaks down wisdom into three distinct components:

Reflective – the capacity for viewing matters from various angles.

Cognitive – the balance of realism and the capacity to dive deep into profound truths, then applying them both personally and in our relationships.

Compassionate – the ability to feel and extend compassion toward others.

Check out the Evidence Based Wisdom website’s infographic below.

Naturally, I wondered how I’d measure up across these three dimensions. Luckily, Project Wisdom has developed a condensed version of Dr. Monica’s test, based on her Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale.  I decided to take the plunge.

How did I fare, you might ask? Well, let’s have a look.

Each dimension allows for a maximum score of 5. With my results, I was encouraged to “compare the three domains of wisdom. Where do you score higher and lower? And how do you see this play out in your life? And how can you use this in shaping your life?”

These are all excellent questions. Personally, I found myself with the lowest score in the Reflective dimension, particularly when it comes to seeing things from different perspectives. I recognize this as an area that could use some nurturing, especially now that I’m the proud “owner” of a newly-minted pre-teen!

I draw motivation from the interconnectedness of the three dimensions working in harmony. Therefore, any endeavour to enhance my wisdom in one dimension should have a mutually reinforcing effect, promoting growth in the others. Yay!

To address the question of “How can you use this to shape your life?” Well, that’s a path I’m excited to explore in the days ahead.


(Click to take the test)

I’d love to hear about your experience with this wisdom scale. Better yet, share how you envision using it to cultivate and expand your own wisdom?

Let’s continue to pursue this wisdom-seeking adventure together.

About the Wayfinders' Blog

The Wayfinders’ Blog helps individuals, teams and organisations discover and develop their unique strengths. I provide valuable insights and practical tips to my audience empowering them to develop their talents into strengths and achieve their goals.

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