There is an interesting and very positive article in a recent edition of The New York Times which examines the topic of wisdom as it relates to age. The article looks at various studies and how wisdom encompasses not only cognitive knowledge, but our ability to gain insights from that knowledge as a basis for our decisions and behaviors.
Among the observations of researchers are the following:
- Older people have much more information in their brains so retrieving it naturally takes longer;
- While younger people are faster in cognitive performance, the quality of information in older people is more nuanced;
- One neuroscientist has postulated that there are "cognitive templates" based on pattern recognition that develop in the older brain, and these "templates" form the basis for wise behavior and decisions;
- One of the impediments to wisdom in older people is negative thinking and dwelling on the perceived negatives of aging; and
- Showing compassion to others is an important element of wisdom: "Wise people
try to understand situations from multiple perspectives, not just their
own, and they show tolerance as a result."
For the full text of the article, please click here.