Wise People and Their Characteristics

Chapter 9 Becoming and Being Wise Developing Wisdom

Many theorists argue that wisdom develops from knowledge, cognitive skills and personality factors. Understanding culture and the environment also considered vital. Mentors are believed to be an important mechanism for developing wisdom “Two heads are better than one”

Wise People and Their Characteristics

Longitudinal studies have determined that a person’s childhood does not determine the development of wisdom and that wise people achieve greater life satisfaction than the unwise. Orwell and Achenbaum suggest that women’s acts of wisdom typically occur in private whereas men’s acts of wisdom are more public Baltes and Staudinger report no age differences between 25 and 75 years but that the time between 15 and 25 is particularly important in developing wisdom. Some professions associated with higher levels of wisdom: clinical psychologists

a. Do you know a wise person? a) What kinds of characteristics make him/her a wise person?

b. Do you consider yourself a wise person b) How can we cultivate wisdom in everyday life?

Chapter 10 Forgiveness

· Defined by Thompson and colleagues, forgiveness is freeing from a negative attachment to the source of the transgression. This definition allows the target of forgiveness to be oneself, another person, or a situation.

· Defined by McCullough and colleagues, forgiveness is an increase in prosocial motivation, in that there is less of a desire to avoid or seek revenge against the transgressor and an increased desire to act positively towards the transgressing person. This definition is only applicable when another person is the target of the transgression.

· Defined by Enright and colleagues, forgiveness is the willingness to give up resentment, negative judgment, and indifference towards the transgressor and give undeserved compassion, generosity, and benevolence to the transgressing person. This definition is limited to people and does not include situations.

· Defined by Tangney and colleagues, giving up negative emotions is the core of forgiveness.

How does one learn forgiveness?

· According to the model developed by Gordon, Baucom, and Snyder, three steps are needed for achieving forgiveness toward another person. The initial impact stage includes negative emotions such as fear, anger and hurt. The search for meaning stage investigates why the incident happened. And the recovery stage is when the people move forward in their lives.

· The REACH model developed by Everett Worthington is a five-step process to forgiveness regarding infidelity. The acronym stands for Recall the hurt and the nature of the injury caused; Empathy promotion in both partners; Altruistic gift giving of forgiveness between partners; Committing verbally to forgive partner, and; Holding onto the forgiveness for each other.

· Self-forgiveness is aimed at lessening the feelings of shame or guilt. The individual is encouraged to take responsibility for the action and to let go and to move forward. The goal is to prevent the individual from letting the negative feelings interfere with positive living.

· Thought stopping and examination of thinking behind negative situations are needed to forgive situations and inanimate objects. The individual will learn that they should not blame happenings in their lives for their problems.

Why forgive?

· An evolutionary advantage to forgiveness is that it may break the violence cycle in human beings and the survival chances will be increased. With lower levels of hostility and aggression and higher levels of positive feelings, the social order may be stabilized.

· Forgiveness requires a sense of self, which is often damaged due to problems requiring the forgiveness. If one learns to forgive, one will build the sense of self up and it may become stronger.

· Forgiveness creates positive emotions.

Think about a situation in which you forgave someone.  a) Explain how you felt before and after forgiving.  b) Do you think that this forgiveness was true forgiveness and why? (Link your comments to one or more of the forgiveness theories presented in the chapter.)

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