Applying Wisdom to Contemporary World Problems

  • Robert J. Sternberg
  • Howard C. Nusbaum
  • Judith Glück

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Igor Grossmann, Anna Dorfman
    Pages 51-79
  3. Megan Mischinski, Eranda Jayawickreme
    Pages 173-200
  4. Ursula M. Staudinger
    Pages 237-253
  5. Hannes Zacher, Ute Kunzmann
    Pages 255-292
  6. Carolyn M. Aldwin, Michael R. Levenson
    Pages 293-307
  7. Nicholas Maxwell
    Pages 337-380
  8. Barry Schwartz, Kenneth E. Sharpe
    Pages 381-406
  9. Judith Glück, Robert J. Sternberg, Howard C. Nusbaum
    Pages 445-464
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 465-470

About this book


​This book presents perspectives from world experts in the field of wisdom studies to propose how wisdom can provide the foundation upon which solutions to social and global problems can be grounded. The authors argue that where society has come to rely on leaders with skills relating to knowledge and intelligence; instead we should focus on wisdom-based acumen for our leaders in government, business, and the military.
In this book the authors offer evidence-based definitions of wisdom and apply these to world problems they believe could potentially be solved using wise solutions. Among the case studies confronted are terrorism and war, poverty and economic disparity, climate change, increasing antibiotic resistance and political corruption.
Focusing on the cognitive, social and emotional processes involved in everyday decision-making, this book presents a compelling argument for the application of wise problem-solving to complex world issues that will appeal in particular to those in leadership, teaching and policy roles, and open new pathways in the fields of wisdom-studies, psychology, sociology and political theory.

Robert J. Sternberg is Professor of Human Development, Cornell University, USA and Honorary Professor of Psychology, University of Heidelberg, Germany.  His PhD is from Stanford and he holds 13 honorary doctorates. Sternberg has won the Grawemeyer Award in Psychology and the William James and James McKeen Cattell Awards from the APS.

Howard Nusbaum is the Stella M. Rowley Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago, USA and is currently Director of the Center for Practical Wisdom.  He was Division Director for Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences at the NSF from 2015 to 2017. He studies communication, learning, and wise reasoning.  

Judith Glück is Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. She previously worked at University of Vienna and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Her research investigates the definition, development, and measurement of wisdom. She is co-editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Wisdom.


world leadership wisdom studies global problems Psychological theory psychological research political psychology societal problems climate change political corruption economic disparity terrorism Hate Speech Populism Social Activism Health Care Teacher Training nationalism

Editors and affiliations

  • Robert J. Sternberg
    • 1
  • Howard C. Nusbaum
    • 2
  • Judith Glück
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Human Development, College of Human EcologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Center for Practical WisdomUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KlagenfurtKlagenfurtAustria

Bibliographic information