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Wisdom with age is 'culture dependent'

Wisdom with age is 'culture dependent'
31st August 2012

The notion that wisdom comes with age has been ingrained in societies across the world, but according to a recent study the perception of 'wisdom' is culture dependent.

Researchers claim there are many ways to define wisdom, but it is usually related to resolving conflict.

However, different countries approach this in different ways, so what is considered as a thoughtful and considered approach in one culture could seem ludicrous in another.

Focusing on America and Japan, researchers found stark contrasts in what was considered wise behaviour.

They claim that Americans emphasize individuality and directness, with targeted, overt persuasion. Conversely, the Japanese prefer social cohesion and settle conflict indirectly through avoidance or mediation.

This is one of the first investigations to conduct an extensive, cross-cultural analyses of people of different ages and socio-economic backgrounds. It also identifies that the ability to solve conflict continues into old age, highlighting how decision-making capabilities remain intact.

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