Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

Document Type



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 "mystory." 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.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Loretta Pecchioni

Included in

Communication Commons