What’s Knowledge? Experts Define It


What’s Knowledge? Experts Define It


Empathy. Self-understanding. Morality. Emotional stability. These words would appear to explain a minimum of a few of the universal traits related to knowledge, all of them broadly recognized and valued. Actually, there’s no long lasting, consistent meaning of what it really means exactly to become wise. It’s a virtue broadly treasured but basically inexplicable, an ageless subject but now attracting rigorous, scientific scrutiny.

In ’09, Dilip V. Jeste, MD, and Thomas W. Meeks, MD, both professors within the department of psychiatry in the College of California, North Park and researchers in the Mike and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging, printed a paper proposing that sagacity may have a neurobiological basis.

Quite simply, that knowledge is wired.

Within the June publication of the Gerontologist and presently online, Jeste and Meeks go further, trying to find out the central, unifying factors that define knowledge. With colleagues from four other universities, Jeste and Meeks requested several worldwide experts to characterize the traits of knowledge, intelligence and spirituality – and measure how each trait is either much like or not the same as others.

“There are many major definitions of knowledge, but not one definition that’s all-inclusive and embraces every essential requirement of knowledge,” stated Jeste, who’s the Estelle and Edgar Levi Chair in Aging, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience and chief of geriatric psychiatry at UC North Park. “Intelligence and spirituality share features with knowledge, however they won’t be the same factor. It’s possible to be intelligent, yet lack practical understanding. Spirituality is frequently connected as we grow older, like knowledge, but many researchers have a tendency to define knowledge in secular terms, not spiritual.”

The study contained a 2-part survey along with a questionnaire made up of 53 statements associated with the concepts of knowledge, intelligence and spirituality. Fifty-seven experts were identified and contacted by 30 responded.

Phase one of the survey revealed significant group variations one of the concepts on 49 of 53 statements. Knowledge differed from intelligence on 46 of 49 products, and from spirituality on 31 products.

In Phase 2, the phrase knowledge was further refined by focusing upon 12 products in the Phase 1 results. The majority of the experts, Jeste and Meeks stated, agreed that knowledge might be characterised thus:

It’s distinctively human.

It’s a type of advanced cognitive and emotional development that’s experience-driven.

It’s a personal quality, although rare.

It may be learned, increases as we grow older and could be measured.

It’s most likely not enhanced if you take medication.

Laptop computer was conducted while using Delphi method, produced by the RAND Corporation within the 1950s and in line with the principle that forecasts from the structured number of experts tend to be more accurate than individuals from unstructured groups or individuals. The paper’s authors identified 60 recognized experts on knowledge on the planet, focusing upon individuals outdoors their very own institutions. The nominees were needed to possess a minimum of two peer-reviewed publications on knowledge or spirituality, though the amount of total publications wasn’t the only qualifying criterion for selection.

Laptop computer requested participating experts to rate the relevance and need for six statements (i.e. “The idea does apply to people.Inch), based on their understanding of empirical evidence, towards the concepts of intelligence, knowledge and spirituality. The rating scale ranged from 1 (certainly not) to 9 (certainly so). Professionals were then requested to rate the significance of 47 components, for example altruism, practical existence skills, spontaneity, realism, readiness to forgive others and self-esteem, towards the concepts of knowledge, intelligence and spirituality.

“One survey, obviously, cannot fully and completely define knowledge,” stated Jeste. “The worth here’s there was considerable agreement among experts that knowledge is actually a distinct entity with numerous characteristic characteristics. The information from your research will help in designing future empirical studies on knowledge.”

Co-authors from the paper, with Jeste and Meeks, were Monika Ardelt, PhD, from the department of sociology and criminology & law in the College of Florida, Gainesville Dan Blazer, MD, PhD, Miles per hour, from the department of psychiatry and behavior sciences at Duke College in Durham, N.C. Helena C. Kraemer, PhD, from the department of psychiatry and behavior sciences at Stanford College in Palo Alto, Ca. and George Vaillant, MD, from the department of psychiatry at Harvard College and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass.


College of California – North Park



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