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Exp Aging Res. 2011 Mar;37(2):129-41. doi: 10.1080/0361073X.2011.554508.

Comparing the psychometric properties of two measures of wisdom: predicting forgiveness and psychological well-being with the Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale (SAWS) and the Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (3D-WS).

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  • 1Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.


Two recently developed scales of wisdom were compared on their abilities to have their dimensional structure replicated and to predict relevant personality (i.e., forgiveness) and life satisfaction (i.e., psychological well-being) variables. One hundred and seventy-six primarily (71%) Australian participants ranging in age from 18 to 68 years (M = 36.60, SD = 12.07) completed an online survey of the Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale (SAWS; Webster, 2003, Journal of Adult Development, 10, 13-22; 2007, International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 65, 163-183), the Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (3D-WS; Ardelt, 2003, Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 52B, 15-27), the Heartland Forgiveness Scale (Thompson et al., 2005, Journal of Personality, 73, 313-360), Ryff's (1989, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1069-1081) measure of psychological well-being (PWB), and a measure of social desirability (BIDR; Paulhus, 1984, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 598-609). Results indicated that the dimensional structure of the SAWS, but not the 3D-WS, replicated, and the 3D-WS, but not the SAWS, was contaminated by a social desirability response bias. Both scales predicted equally well PWB and forgiveness in predicted directions. Implications for future use of both scales are discussed.

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