Thin-Slice Measurement of Wisdom

Abstract: Objective Measurement of Wisdom within a short period of time is vital for both the public interest (e.g., understanding a presidential election) and research (e.g., testing factors that facilitate wisdom development). A measurement of emotion associated with wisdom would be especially informative; therefore, a novel Thin-Slice measurement of wisdom was developed based on the Berlin Paradigm. For about 2 min, participants imagined the lens of a camera as the eyes of their friend/teacher whom they advised about a life dilemma. Verbal response and facial expression were both recorded by a camera: verbal responses were then rated on both the Berlin Wisdom criteria and newly developed Chinese wisdom criteria; facial expressions were analyzed by the software iMotion FACET module. Results showed acceptable inter-rater and inter-item reliability for this novel paradigm. Moreover, both wisdom ratings were not significantly correlated with Social desirability, and the Berlin wisdom rating was significantly negatively correlated with Neuroticism; feeling of surprise was significantly positively correlated with both wisdom criteria ratings. Our results provide the first evidence of this Thin-slice Wisdom Paradigm’s reliability, its immunity to social desirability, and its validity for assessing candidates’ wisdom within a short timeframe. Although still awaiting further development, this novel Paradigm contributes to an emerging Universal Wisdom Paradigm applicable across cultures.


  • Thin-slice
  • Measurement of wisdom
  • Thin-slice wisdom Paradigm
  • Berlin Wisdom Paradigm
  • Universal Wisdom Paradigm

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