Title page for ETD etd-11132007-102323

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Croghan, Jon M.
URN etd-11132007-102323
Title Toward a New Understanding of Wisdom: The Role of Communication on Perceptions of Wisdom
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Communication Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Loretta Pecchioni Committee Chair
Andrew King Committee Member
James Honeycutt Committee Member
Michael Burnett Committee Member
Ruth Lauion Bowman Committee Member
David Kurpius Dean's Representative
  • social identity theory
  • wisdom
  • mystory
  • stereotype activation model
Date of Defense 2007-05-09
Availability unrestricted
Wisdom is a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, multidisciplinary construct which has been discussed and examined since the beginning of recorded history. Many classical and contemporary scholars have sought to define wisdom, but a precise definition has proven elusive. Since wisdom often defies easy categorization, this dissertation examines wisdom using a multi-methodological perspective. Four chapters of this dissertation discuss the historiography of various societal attributions of wisdom using performance studies techniques. Three chapters examine wisdom and the instruments constructed to measure the construct from a social scientific approach. This study seeks to clarify, while simultaneously deconstructing, the definition of wisdom. The four performative chapters address wisdom primarily from the perspective of Gregory Ulmer's "mystoryť." The three social scientific chapters discuss the existing social scientific literature, information about the sample and questionnaire, and the results of the statistical analysis of the 12 hypotheses and 17 research questions posed. The discussion considers how the methodologies used clarify and obscure wisdom. Conclusions about the elusive nature of wisdom are posited. The role of different methodological approaches, age, and poor performance of existing wisdom scales suggest directions for future research.
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