"What is wisdom?" wonders Christine Whelan at In Character. She explores research conducted by Dilip Jeste and Thomas Meeks, psychiatrists at the University of California, San Diego. Apparently, they think "sagacity might have a neurobiological basis. In other words ... wisdom is wired."

Believe it or not, they've managed to narrow down what wisdom is--or what people think it is--through the strategic use of surveys. First, in "Phase 1," they figured out the differences between intelligence, wisdom, and spirituality, and in "Phase 2, the definition of wisdom was further refined by focusing upon 12 items from the Phase 1 results." This is what they found:

Most of the experts, Jeste and Meeks said, agreed that wisdom could be characterized thus:
  • It is uniquely human.
  • It is a form of advanced cognitive and emotional development that is experience-driven.
  • It is a personal quality, albeit rare.
  • It can be learned, increases with age and can be measured.
  • It is probably not enhanced by taking medication.
So where does that leave us, exactly?