Wisdom of Knowing the Difference: Unpacking Knowledge of Strategy-Situation Fit and Its Relationship to Context-Sensitive Meta-Cognition

At least since Aristotle, the notion of practical wisdom has focused on the ability to discern the best action for the different situations people encounter in their lives. For Aristotle and many scholars after him, practical wisdom concerned both knowledge of which strategies fit which situations and application of such knowledge in daily life. In contrast, current psychological wisdom research has largely focused on individual characteristics attributed to wise persons. Igor Grossmann proposes to bring together these two approaches in a process model linking characteristics attributed to wise persons with knowledge of Strategy-Situation Fit (SSF) and its application in meaningful daily life situations. He hypothesizes that a “wise” meta-cognitive ability to discern the features of a situation, often attributed to wise people, affords greater SSF knowledge and facilitates its application in daily life. Hisgoal is to provide a unified SSF framework encompassing an ecologically-derived set of cognitive, emotional, motivational and behavioural strategies, to assess their applicability across typical daily life situations, and to test the role of wisdom-related meta-cognitive processes for SSF development. Specifically, in this ongoing program of research he:

  1. Develops tools to assess knowledge of Strategy-Situation Fit, with a focus on cognitive, emotional, motivational and behavioural strategies across different situations;
  2. Explores the utility of Strategy-Situation Fit knowledge for performance in daily life;
  3. Examines how wise meta-cognition and SSF influence each other over time.