Think You Use Your Brain the Same in Everything You Do? Maybe Not So Much

How about this?  You may use one part of your head to braid your daughter's hair and another to balance your checkbook.

That's right.  You may think of yourself as using the same level of wisdom on each thing you do, but according to a new study, that's not quite right.

While we may think some people are consistently wise, we actually demonstrate different levels of wisdom from one situation to the next, and factors such as whether we are alone or with friends can affect it, according to new research from the University of Waterloo.The study defines wise reasoning as a combination of such abilities as intellectual humility, consideration of others' perspective and looking for compromise, newswise.com reports. 

"This research does not dismiss that there is a personality component to wisdom, but that's not the whole picture," says Professor Igor Grossmann, from the Department of Psychology at Waterloo and lead author of the paper. "Situations in daily life affect our personality and ability to reason wisely."

The observation that wise reasoning varies dramatically across situations in daily life suggests that while it fluctuates, wisdom may not be as rare as we think. Further, for different individuals, only certain situations may promote this quality, the website notes.

"There are many examples where people known for their critical acumen or expertise in ethics seem to fall prey to lack of such acumen or morals. The present findings suggest that those examples are not an anomaly," adds Grossmann. "We cannot always be at the top of our game in terms of wisdom-related tendencies, and it can be dangerous to generalize based on whether people show wisdom in their personal life or when teaching others in the classroom ."






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