Identity and purpose in life as building blocks for wisdom

Kaylin Ratner, Anthony L. Burrow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The objective of this chapter is to suggest that attaining a sense of identity and purpose early in the lifespan can help one capitalize on life experiences as one ages, and subsequently aid in the development of wisdom. Reviews targeting identity and purpose formation are presented, and the associations between these psychological assets and various aspects of wisdom are explored. It is argued that identity and purpose processes may be important – perhaps indispensable – prerequisites of wisdom. Helping individuals to secure senses of identity and purpose in adolescence/emerging adulthood may enable the achievement of life satisfaction and other putative benefits associated with wisdom. As such, there may be several opportunities during one’s life to secure tools instrumental to wisdom, successful aging, and the maintenance of one’s quality of life.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Wisdom
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781108568272
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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