Although present Western approaches to wisdom differ in their delimination of the very essence of wisdom, its cognitive nature is usually accentuated. We, in contrast, define wisdom as a latent variable consisting of the integration of cognitive, reflective and affective personality qualities. This conceptualization of wisdom was operationalized by the Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (3D-WS). The aim of this study was to examine the Slovak translation of the 3D-WS and to compare the scores of two culturally different samples of US and Slovak college students. We used Cronbach's alpha as the internal reliability indicator for the translation verification, and bivariate correlation analyses for determining the internal correlations between the separate dimensions of the wisdom scale. Differences in mean values of the separate dimensions of wisdom and the overall wisdom score between the two samples were analyzed using MANCOVA, ANOVA, and ANCOVA, while checking for gender. The internal reliability and correlation coefficients of the three dimensions of the wisdom scale confirm the inner consistency of the Slovak translation. However, analyses also show that the average scores for the cognitive and reflective dimensions of wisdom and the overall wisdom score are significantly higher in the American sample than in the Slovak sample, whereas the average score for the affective dimension is significantly higher in the Slovak sample than in the American sample. In sum, this cross-cultural explorative research suggests that the Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale, consisting of internally consistent cognitive, reflective, and affective personality characteristics, is a promising measure to assess wisdom in the US as well as the Slovak culture. Future studies should compare the implicit wisdom theories of students in both cultures. Based on results from this study, we hypothesize that US students might place a stronger emphasis on the cognitive and reflective dimensions of wisdom and less emphasis on the affective wisdom dimension than Slovak students.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.