Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy
Showing posts with label Wisdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wisdom. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Before You Answer, Consider the Opposite Possibility—How Productive Disagreements Lead to Better Outcomes

Ian Leslie
The Atlantic
Originally published 25 Apr 21

Here is an excerpt:

This raises the question of how a wise inner crowd can be cultivated. Psychologists have investigated various methods. One, following Stroop, is to harness the power of forgetting. Reassuringly for those of us who are prone to forgetting, people with poor working memories have been shown to have a wiser inner crowd; their guesses are more independent of one another, so they end up with a more diverse set of estimates and a more accurate average. The same effect has been achieved by spacing the guesses out in time.

More sophisticated methods harness the mind’s ability to inhabit different perspectives and look at a problem from more than one angle. People generate more diverse estimates when prompted to base their second or third guess on alternative assumptions; one effective technique is simply asking people to “consider the opposite” before giving a new answer. A fascinating recent study in this vein harnesses the power of disagreement itself. A pair of Dutch psychologists, Philippe Van de Calseyde and Emir Efendić, asked people a series of questions with numerical answers, such as the percentage of the world’s airports located in the U.S.. Then they asked participants to think of someone in their life with whom they often disagreed—that uncle with whom they always argue about politics—and to imagine what that person would guess.

The respondents came up with second estimates that were strikingly different from their first estimate, producing a much more accurate inner crowd. The same didn’t apply when they were asked to imagine how someone they usually agree with would answer the question, which suggests that the secret is to incorporate the perspectives of people who think differently from us. That the respondents hadn’t discussed that particular question with their disagreeable uncle did not matter. Just the act of thinking about someone with whom they argued a lot was enough to jog them out of habitual assumptions.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Training for Wisdom: The Distanced-Self-Reflection Diary Method

Grossmann, I., et al.  (2019, May 8). 
Psychological Science. 2021;32(3):381-394. 


Two pre-registered longitudinal experiments (Study 1: Canadians/Study 2: Americans and Canadians; N=555) tested the utility of illeism—a practice of referring to oneself in the third person—during diary-reflection for the trainability of wisdom-related characteristics in everyday life: emotional complexity (Study 1) and wise reasoning (intellectual humility, open-mindedness about how situations could unfold, consideration of and attempts to integrate diverse viewpoints; Studies 1-2). In a month-long experiment, instruction to engage in third- (vs. first-) person diary-reflections on most significant daily experiences resulted in growth in wise reasoning and emotional complexity assessed in laboratory sessions after vs. before the intervention. Additionally, third- (vs. first-) person participants showed alignment between forecasted and month-later experienced feelings toward close others in challenging situations. Study 2 replicated the third-person self-reflections effect on wise reasoning (vs. first-person- and no-pronoun-controls) in a week-long intervention. The present research demonstrates a path to evidence-based training of wisdom-related processes.

General Discussion

Two interventions demonstrated the effectiveness of distanced self-reflection for promoting wiser reasoning about interpersonal challenges, relative to control conditions. The effect of using distanced self-reflection on wise reasoning was in part statistically accounted for by a corresponding broadening of people’s habitually narrow self-focus into a more expansive sense of self (Aron & Aron, 1997). Distanced self-reflection effects were particularly pronounced for intellectual humility and social-cognitive aspects of wise reasoning (i.e., acknowledgement of others’ perspectives, search for conflict resolution). This project provides the first evidence that wisdom-related cognitive processes can be fostered in daily life. The results suggest that distanced self-reflections in daily diaries may cultivate wiser reasoning about challenging social interactions by promoting spontaneous self-distancing (Ayduk & Kross, 2010).

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Why Do We Need Wisdom To Lead In The Future?

Sesil Pir
Originally posted May 19, 2019

Here is an excerpt:

We live in a society that encourages us to think about how to have a great career but leaves us inarticulate about how to cultivate the inner life. The road to success is definitively paved through competition and so fiercely that it becomes all-consuming for many of us. It is commonly accepted today that information is the key source of all being; yet, information alone doesn’t laver one with knowledge as knowledge alone doesn’t lead to righteous action. In the age of artificial information, we need to consider beyond data to drive purposeful progression and authentic illuminations.

Wisdom in the context of leadership refers to our quality of having good, sound judgment. It is a source that provides light into our own insight and introduces a new appreciation for the world around us. It helps us recognize that others are more than our limiting impressions of them. It fills us with confidence that we are connected and better capable than we could ever dream of.

The people with this quality tends to lead from a place of strong internal cohesion. They have overcome fragmentation to reach a level of integration, which supports the way they show up – tranquil, settled and rooted. These people tend to withstand the hard winds of volatility and not easily crumble in the face of adversity. They ground their thoughts, emotions and behaviors in values that feed their self-efficacy and they heartfully understand perfectionism is an unattainable goal.

The info is here.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Wisdom in Virtue: Pursuit of Virtue Predicts Wise Reasoning About Personal Conflicts

Alex C. Huynh, Harrison Oakes, Garrett R. Shay, & Ian McGregor
Psychological Science
Article first published online: October 3, 2017


Most people can reason relatively wisely about others’ social conflicts, but often struggle to do so about their own (i.e., Solomon’s paradox). We suggest that true wisdom should involve the ability to reason wisely about both others’ and one’s own social conflicts, and we investigated the pursuit of virtue as a construct that predicts this broader capacity for wisdom. Results across two studies support prior findings regarding Solomon’s paradox: Participants (N = 623) more strongly endorsed wise-reasoning strategies (e.g., intellectual humility, adopting an outsider’s perspective) for resolving other people’s social conflicts than for resolving their own. The pursuit of virtue (e.g., pursuing personal ideals and contributing to other people) moderated this effect of conflict type. In both studies, greater endorsement of the pursuit of virtue was associated with greater endorsement of wise-reasoning strategies for one’s own personal conflicts; as a result, participants who highly endorsed the pursuit of virtue endorsed wise-reasoning strategies at similar levels for resolving their own social conflicts and resolving other people’s social conflicts. Implications of these results and underlying mechanisms are explored and discussed.

Here is an excerpt:

We propose that the litmus test for wise character is whether one can reason wisely about one’s own social conflicts. As did the biblical King Solomon, people tend to reason more wisely about others’ social conflicts than their own (i.e., Solomon’s paradox; Grossmann & Kross, 2014, see also Mickler & Staudinger, 2008, for a discussion of personal vs. general wisdom). Personal conflicts impede wise reasoning because people are more likely to immerse themselves in their own perspective and emotions, relegating other perspectives out of awareness, and increasing certainty regarding preferred perspectives (Kross & Grossmann, 2012; McGregor, Zanna, Holmes, & Spencer, 2001). In contrast, reasoning about other people’s conflicts facilitates wise reasoning through the adoption of different viewpoints and the avoidance of sociocognitive biases (e.g., poor recognition of one’s own shortcomings—e.g., Pronin, Olivola, & Kennedy, 2008). In the present research, we investigated whether virtuous motives facilitate wisdom about one’s own conflicts, enabling one to pass the litmus test for wise character.

The article is here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Genetically enhance humanity or face extinction - PART 1

Julian Savulescu presents at Sydney's Festival of Dangerous Ideas

In his talk at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas (Sydney Opera House), philosopher and bioethicist Julian Savulescu examines the nature of human beings as products of evolution, in particular their limited altruism, limited cooperative instincts and limited ability to take account of the future consequences of actions. He argues that humans' biology and psychology are unfit for the kind of society we live in and we must either alter our political institutions, severely restrain our technology or change our nature. Or face annihilation by our own design.