Possible tensions between wisdom and happiness have been extensively debated in philosophy. Some regard wisdom as the 'supreme part of happiness', whereas other think that a more accurate and wiser view on reality might reduce happiness. Analyzing a Dutch internet survey of 7037 respondents, we discovered that wisdom and happiness were modestly positively related. Wisdom, measured with the Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (3D-WS), explained 9.2% of the variation in hedonic happiness. The correlation with the reflective dimension of wisdom was the strongest. In addition, wisdom was more important for happiness among adults with only an elementary education. Our results suggest that happiness and wisdom do not conflict.

Adjustment, Eudaimonic well-being, Happiness, Personal growth, Positive affect, Utilitarianism, Wisdom
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10902-011-9275-5, hdl.handle.net/1765/65694
Journal of Happiness Studies
Department of Sociology

Bergsma, A, & Ardelt, M. (2012). Self-Reported Wisdom and Happiness: An Empirical Investigation. Journal of Happiness Studies, 13(3), 481–499. doi:10.1007/s10902-011-9275-5