Psychologists have created the first «scientific» test to assess the wisdom of man

© Fotolia / Ingo BartussekБабушка cooking in the kitchenPsychologists have created the first «scientific» test to assess the wisdom of man© Fotolia / Ingo Bartussek

Scientists from the U.S. created the first test to assess the wisdom of the person who will help the scientists to find the «center of wisdom» in our brain, according to a paper published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

«There is evidence that the wisdom of man depends in the greater part of its neurophysiology, and that in our brain there are special areas, which determines how wise is this or that individual. We hope that our test will help you to find the «center of wisdom» and understand how to improve its performance,» said Dilip Yeste (Dilip Jeste) from the University of California at San Diego (USA).

The concept of intelligence, ability to think rationally and make logical decisions, and wisdom, the ability to use knowledge, intuition and experience in daily life, are different things by representatives of virtually all the peoples of the Earth since Aristotle and the Bhagavad-Gita. In accordance with these accepted ideas, the sharpness of intelligence decreases with age, and wisdom, on the contrary, is growing, and what is the reason, nobody knows.

As said Yeste, researchers rarely tried to study the phenomenon of wisdom in the past, as this concept is a very subjective thing and hard to translate into language of digits and clearly defined evaluation criteria, similar IQ and other tests of intelligence.

Scientists from the University of California at San Diego tried to eliminate this problem by developing test SD-WISE, tailored to the latest discoveries in neurophysiology, linking certain parts of the brain with various forms of wisdom. For example, damage to the prefrontal cortex is associated today with the loss of wisdom, and its high activity with the presence of this quality in a person.

Guided by similar considerations, Yeste and his colleagues have developed a test of 24 questions that measure different aspects of emotional human behavior, and presumably associated with how wise he is. For example, the researchers asked the respondents, however, do not lose their heads in difficult situations, do they experience difficulties when making decisions, whether they do self-analysis and how they relate to people with a different worldview.

The work of this survey, the researchers tested for approximately five hundred residents of San Diego and its suburbs, whom they accidentally met on the street and invited them to participate in the experiment. As shown by these tests, wisdom was indeed associated with the operation of those parts of the brain, which were associated with her in the previous experiments, the scientists, and the emotional and psychological well-being of people.

Yeste and his colleagues hope that further experiments with the use of SD-WISE and the various systems monitoring brain activity will help them «find» the center of wisdom and to understand the factors that govern its work and does its activity with aging of the human body.