Takahashi, M., & Bordia, P.(2000). The Concept of Wisdom: A Cross-Cultural Comparison. International  Journal of Psychology, 35 (1), 1-9.


To examine the meaning of wisdom cross-culturally, American, Australian, Indian, and Japanese samples judged the similarity of seven personality descriptors: "aged," "awakened," "discreet," "experienced," "intuitive," "knowledgeable," and "wise." Multidimensional scaling (MDS) analysis revealed different clustering patterns for the Western (American and Australian) and the Eastern (Indian and Japanese) samples. For the Westerners, "wise" was clustered with "experienced" and "knowledgeable," whereas the Easterners associated "wise" with "discreet." Further, the Western samples selected "wise" and "knowledgeable" as the favorable descriptors for an ideal self while mixed results were obtained from the Eastern samples. The results suggest that the conceptualization of wisdom in the West differs from that in the East, with the former emphasizing the cognitive dimension and the latter stressing the cognitive and the affective dimensions.