A 7-step quiz can tell you how wise you are, and researchers say the higher the score, the healthier you will be

·2 min read
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  • Researchers at UC San Diego created a short 7-question test to determine how wise a person is.

  • They focused on the key indicators of wisdom, including self-reflection, decisiveness, and spirituality.

  • People who score higher on wisdom tests tend to feel less lonely and are more healthy overall, the researchers said.

You can now measure how wise you are in seven questions, according to researchers at University of California, San Diego.

For the study, published in the journal International Psychogeriatrics, the researchers wanted to create a shorter version of their previously designed 28-item wisdom questionnaire, the most commonly used wisdom measure in current research, they explained.

"Wisdom measures are increasingly being used to study factors that impact mental health and optimal aging. We wanted to test if a list of only seven items could provide valuable information to test wisdom," Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, senior author and senior associate dean for the Center of Healthy Aging at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said in a press release.

To create a more brief test, researchers focused on previous studies which outlined the seven main components of wisdom: self-reflection, positive social behaviors like empathy, emotional regulation, acceptance of diverse perspectives, decisiveness, advice-giving, and spirituality.

They had 1,789 online participants between the ages of 20 and 82 complete the digital questionnaire. All of the participants were English speakers who lived in the US. The majority of participants (77%) were white and 55% were women.

Participants answered questions to determine how wise they were. Each question included a 1-to-5 scale, with 1 meaning "strongly disagree" and 5 meaning "strongly agree." Negatively worded questions had the inverse scoring scale.

They responded to the following statements:

  • I tend to postpone making major decisions as long as I can.

  • I remain calm under pressure.

  • I avoid self-reflection.

  • I avoid situations where I know my help will be needed.

  • I often don't know what to tell people when they come to me for advice.

  • I enjoy being exposed to diverse viewpoints.

  • My spiritual belief gives me inner strength.

After the researchers adjusted the responses to account for people who answered the questions too quickly or in a distracted manner, they found their seven-item quiz offered comparable results to their longer test measuring wisdom.

According to Jeste, his previous research suggests the more wise a person is, the less loneliness they'll experience.

"We need wisdom for surviving and thriving in life. Now, we have a list of questions that take less than a couple of minutes to answer that can be put into clinical practice to try to help individuals," Jeste said in the press release.

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