Igor Grossmann is a world traveller. Born during the downfall of the Soviet Union on a day of October revolution, and growing up in Ukraine and Germany, ever since childhood he has been wondering about how people make sense of complex social challenges. He has studied at the University of Freiburg in Germany and the University of Michigan in the US and is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Waterloo in Canada. His work explores the interplay of sociocultural factors for wisdom in the face of daily stressors using a wide range of methods, including big data analytics, psychophysiology, diary surveys, and behavioural experiments.
April 25th, 2018 | 53 mins 40 secs
culture, death, death reflection, laura blackie, psychology, socio-emotional selectivity theory, terror management theory, wisdom
Why do we avoid thinking about our own death? How does contemplating our own mortality change our day-to-day behaviour? Why do drivers, when reminded of the fact that they will die, actually drive even faster? Whilst society typically hides death from us, might certain death reflection scenarios actually lead to the development of wisdom? Laura Blackie has considered these and many related questions, and joins Igor and Charles to discuss Terror Management Theory, Death Reflection, and the potential upsides of contemplating our own demise. Igor dismisses a death clock which tells him he won't live as long as Charles, Laura outlines the possible prosocial benefits of imagining a painful and horrible death, and Charles admits to spending too much time thinking about whether his funeral will be well attended. Welcome to Episode 3.
April 22nd, 2018 | 56 mins 20 secs
ageing, cross-sectional studies, experience, wisdom
Does wisdom really come with age? Or is this an outdated myth from a bygone era? How might wisdom develop in a brain that's ageing? Or perhaps by 'age', are we really talking about 'experience'? If so, do all experiences lead to wisdom, or only bad ones? If old people can be foolish, can young people ever be wise? And how on earth do you even gather reliable evidence across generations? Igor brings sad news of declining brain function to anyone over 25 and cautions against seeking out traumatic experiences as a strategy for developing wisdom, whilst Charles is forced to rethink his whole position on Jude Law. Welcome to Episode 2.
April 20th, 2018 | 1 hr 1 min
culture, intelligence, psychology, social psychology, wisdom
What's the difference between someone who's smart and someone who's wise? If you can you be intelligent without being wise, can you be wise without also being intelligent? If wisdom's so essential for taking good decisions, what's driving our exclusive obsession with intelligence? And which is really more helpful in our daily lives? Igor describes some surprising fighter-plane-based scenarios when wisdom is as useless as intelligence and Charles explains how open-ended questioning in the classroom comes with its own unique set of risks. Welcome to Episode 1 of the On Wisdom podcast.