Six hundred and fifty-nine community-based participants, ages 27 to 103, participated in the study and completed both the San Diego Intelligence Scale (SD-WISE) and the 3-D Intelligence Scale (3D-WISE). WS).
SD-WISE consists of 24 items related to six identified components of intelligence: pro-social behaviors (empathy and compassion), emotional regulation, self-reflection, acceptance of uncertainty and diversity of opinion, assertiveness and social advice.
3D-WS contains 39 items covering the three dimensions of wisdom: cognitive, affective or compassionate/and reflexive.
The researchers found that total 3-D-WS scores were higher in women than in men, but there was no gender difference in total scores on SD-WISE.
In both women and men, intelligence is linked to mental health, optimism, resilience, and lower levels of depression and loneliness.
Women scored higher on items related to compassion and self-reflection while men scored higher on items related to emotion perception and regulation..
“We wanted to collect information on potential differences in intelligence between men and women that might affect happiness,” said senior author Dilip V. Jeste, MD, senior vice-chancellor of China Center for Healthy Aging and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Better understanding of wisdom and how improving it is beneficial for health and value for individuals and society.
Other studies have shown that levels of certain components of intelligence such as empathy/compassion and emotion regulation can be increased with appropriate psychosocial and behavioral interventions.
These new research findings may help tailor intellectual interventions to individuals based on specific characteristics.
The researchers stress that there are limitations to the study: It is cross-sectional, not longitudinal. And it doesn’t look at the intellectual profiles of non-binary people or ask people if they identify as transgender, and that should be one of the next steps.
More work needs to be done and applied to future studies to make the results applicable to different groups, with the ultimate goal of promoting healthier lives.