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Older is Wiser?

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nakatago
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Older is Wiser?

Postby nakatago » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 9:47 am

Scientific study set out to test adage: http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/04/by-some-measures-older-really-is-wiser.ars

Abstract:
It is well documented that aging is associated with cognitive declines in many domains. Yet it is a common lay belief that some aspects of thinking improve into old age. Specifically, older people are believed to show better competencies for reasoning about social dilemmas and conflicts. Moreover, the idea of aging-related gains in wisdom is consistent with views of the aging mind in developmental psychology. However, to date research has provided little evidence corroborating this assumption. We addressed this question in two studies, using a representative community sample. We asked participants to read stories about intergroup conflicts and interpersonal conflicts and predict how these conflicts would unfold. We show that relative to young and middle-aged people, older people make more use of higher-order reasoning schemes that emphasize the need for multiple perspectives, allow for compromise, and recognize the limits of knowledge. Our coding scheme was validated by a group of professional counselors and wisdom researchers. Social reasoning improves with age despite a decline in fluid intelligence. The results suggest that it might be advisable to assign older individuals to key social roles involving legal decisions, counseling, and intergroup negotiations. Furthermore, given the abundance of research on negative effects of aging, this study may help to encourage clinicians to emphasize the inherent strengths associated with aging.



Researchers say yes; article commenters say no. My personal experience with my "elders" also say no. I say it's how one exercised critical thought while growing old up to an extent--most people take the path of least resistance so a lot grow old not exercising critical thinking.

Now, I know SMS has something to say about this in 5, 4, 3, 2...

EDIT: quoted elders after SE's post. Yup; they're elders in the sense that they're generations ahead of me.
Last edited by nakatago on Thu, 08 Apr 2010 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby raden888 » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 11:16 am

Hmmmm.....I've met some oldies who are more immature than a 18yo! It all depends on the individual, whether that person has allowed oneself to grow. That's how you accumulate wisdom.So nay to the article.

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Postby $Pripps » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 11:22 am

/agree w PP

it really depends on a lot of factors besides age, probably age is the least important in that equation.
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Re: Older is Wiser?

Postby x9200 » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 11:22 am

nakatago wrote:Researchers say yes; article commenters say no. My personal experience with my elders also say no. I say it's how one exercised critical thought while growing old up to an extent--most people take the path of least resistance so a lot grow old not exercising critical thinking.

I think it is yes but you have to ensure you compare apples to apples so something like you would analyse the same person at different age growing older in relatively static environment (social and intellectual mainly). Also population-wise it is likely yes (averaging factor).
Is your experience with your elders based on your memory or you compare them to yourself?

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 11:48 am

You really have one of two paths to follow as you age: You can become elderly or you can become an elder. The first involves running down, becoming fixed and taking narrower views. The second involves openness to new ideas and experience, a broader/grayer view of a non black and white world... in essence, wisdom.

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Postby vbelle » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 2:22 pm

I think it just make sense if you get wiser as you get older..
you've been through more in life..have more experience..ups and down..knows how to deal with problems or different situation..

however, its not always the case..
some people just never learn..some people always have it easy..and some just not getting mature as they get older..

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 2:28 pm

vbelle wrote:some people just never learn.


i find this funny. is that so wrong? :P :P :P

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Postby vbelle » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 2:37 pm

nakatago wrote:
i find this funny. is that so wrong? :P :P :P


:D
are you one of them?lol
is not so wrong..it can be annoying for people around you..generally its bad mainly for yourself ;p
not that im saying im someone who always learn from my mistakes...

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 2:57 pm

vbelle wrote: :D
are you one of them?lol


hell, no!

not that im saying im someone who always learn from my mistakes...


i made more than my fair share of mistakes :oops:

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Postby raden888 » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 8:11 pm

Wow, no comment from SMS yet. Word! :lol:

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Re: Older is Wiser?

Postby intellectualsmuse » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 9:46 pm

nakatago wrote:Scientific study set out to test adage: http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/04/by-some-measures-older-really-is-wiser.ars

Abstract:
It is well documented that aging is associated with cognitive declines in many domains. Yet it is a common lay belief that some aspects of thinking improve into old age. Specifically, older people are believed to show better competencies for reasoning about social dilemmas and conflicts. Moreover, the idea of aging-related gains in wisdom is consistent with views of the aging mind in developmental psychology. However, to date research has provided little evidence corroborating this assumption. We addressed this question in two studies, using a representative community sample. We asked participants to read stories about intergroup conflicts and interpersonal conflicts and predict how these conflicts would unfold. We show that relative to young and middle-aged people, older people make more use of higher-order reasoning schemes that emphasize the need for multiple perspectives, allow for compromise, and recognize the limits of knowledge. Our coding scheme was validated by a group of professional counselors and wisdom researchers. Social reasoning improves with age despite a decline in fluid intelligence. The results suggest that it might be advisable to assign older individuals to key social roles involving legal decisions, counseling, and intergroup negotiations. Furthermore, given the abundance of research on negative effects of aging, this study may help to encourage clinicians to emphasize the inherent strengths associated with aging.


I think it also has to do with how the study defines "wisdom". The older people are, the more experiences they've had and so are probably better equipped to deal with situations involving conflict. However, I think that words like "compromise" and "recognition of the limits of knowledge" should not be equated with higher order reasoning. Sounds a little too conformist to me-nothing wrong with that of course, however it seems to me that wisdom here is being equated to being able to choose a course of action that would appeal to a "majority".

Personally, I do not think that older people are necessarily wiser. I think SE put it quite well when he said its a choice between 2 paths.

@ raden888 and everyone else that's eagerly awaiting SMS's response to this thread,please know that he is currently busy contemplating which of the two paths suggested by SE he would want to be on :P
For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the sheltered will never know.

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Postby ozchick » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 10:00 pm

raden888 wrote:Wow, no comment from SMS yet. Word! :lol:


Farm boy's probably waiting for a written invitation! :wink:

Older and wiser....mm...yeah I'm older and wiser....but hell's bells I'm climbing that mountain still! One just does have to take risks, explore new territory or ideas etc. If not, one's wisdom/knowlege reaches a peak and there it stagnates I guess....
But someone got it right on here. There are those who never learn. Some of them may have come from a background that didn't foster 'personal growth' or 'education' etc. Then there are others who think they know it all and 'in their world' anything worth knowing they already know! Odd that we sophisticated humans have yet to find a way of transferring knowlege from one to the other in one 'click'. But we die and we take all we 'know' with us. Such a waste. But then they've landed on the moon....so one day...who knows, I might be able to share my great intellect with others in a click! :wink:
Mm, now how do I say 'winner' in German?!
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Postby SunWuKong » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 10:52 pm

Intellectualsmuse had a good point. Wisdom should be defined before it is measured.

For myself I think of wisdom as the ability to accurately predict the outcome of one's actions before engaging in them.

Barring medical impediments of a mental nature I believe that individuals become more wise as they age.
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Re: Older is Wiser?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 11:43 pm

intellectualsmuse wrote:@ raden888 and everyone else that's eagerly awaiting SMS's response to this thread,please know that he is currently busy contemplating which of the two paths suggested by SE he would want to be on :P


Spot on. Almost. I'm still a long, long way from even reaching that fork in the path to even have to contemplate taking one direction or the other. :cool:

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Re: Older is Wiser?

Postby intellectualsmuse » Thu, 08 Apr 2010 11:55 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
intellectualsmuse wrote:@ raden888 and everyone else that's eagerly awaiting SMS's response to this thread,please know that he is currently busy contemplating which of the two paths suggested by SE he would want to be on :P


Spot on. Almost. I'm still a long, long way from even reaching that fork in the path to even have to contemplate taking one direction or the other. :cool:


Predictable Predictable!! :twisted:

I thought your other post on one's age being a function of mental, physical and chronological factors was a gem, so sharing it:

sutra447579.html
For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the sheltered will never know.


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