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Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates is believed to have said the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. But a group of psychiatrists disagrees.

The ancient Greek Philospher Socrates is believed to have said the true wisdom is to knowing you know nothing

They have created a quiz that measures how wise people are based on their answers to questions that test six different qualities.

These qualities include giving good advice, pragmatism, self-understanding, tolerance of diversity and the ability to handle ambiguity and uncertainty.

The test, called a San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-Wise), was created by researchers at the University of San Diego’s School of Medicine.

It aims to reveal your level of wisdom by looking at both neurobiological and psycho-social factors based on the six different qualities.

Each of these qualities is linked to a particular region of the brain.

According to Dilip Jeste, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, this raises the possibility that it may be possible to enhance wisdom levels in people with a deficiency.

To take the test, read each of the statements, and on scale of one to five, with five being ‘I strongly agree’, rate how much you agree with them.

Statements include, ‘I enjoy being exposed to diverse viewpoints’ and ‘I have a difficult time keeping friendships.’

To tests its effectiveness, researchers asked 524 middle-aged people to take the quiz.

The researchers found that SD-Wise successfully measured five of the six targeted domains, and made effective distinctions between individuals’ differing degrees of wisdom.

Those who got higher scores on the questionnaire also did better on two wisdom scales.

These measured resilience, happiness and satisfaction with their lives.

Dr Jeste said: ‘There is evidence to suggest that the level of wisdom is dictated to a large degree by neurobiology,

‘Distinct regions and systems in the brain govern the identified components of wisdom.

‘There are measures now that assess a person’s level of wisdom, but they do not incorporate these emerging neurobiological models of the trait.

‘SD-Wise reflects the latest thinking.

‘We believe it may be a useful tool in clinical practice, in addition to its value in bio-psycho-social research, especially investigations into the neurobiology of wisdom and possible interventions to enhance it.’

The full findings of the study were published the Journal of Psychiatric Research.


How much do you agree with the following statements on a scale of one to five, with five being ‘I strongly agree:

1) I enjoy being exposed to diverse viewpoints

2) I have a difficult time keeping friendships

3) It is important that I understand my actions

4) I cannot filter my negative emotions

5) I tend to postpone making major decisions as long as I can

6) Others look to me to help them make choices

Questions 1, 3 and 6 are positive traits and your numerical value for these questions should be added up.

However, the others are negatives and should be subtracted from your total.

If you scored more than 11, you are a master of life’s lessons and as enlightened as the Buddha.

A score of eight to ten indicates you have learned a lot.

Scores of less than eight mean you still have a lot to learn.


The Daily Mail