Does wisdom lead to happiness? Or does happiness lead to the wisdom? Those are the questions raised by a new Richard Nisbett-led psychology study, which Robert Wright has just written about on The Atlantic. Wright’s conclusion:

I’m guessing the answer is a little of both: Wisdom leads to well-being, and well-being paves the way for wisdom—and, in particular, for wise action, not just a capacity for wise reasoning.

If that’s true, then you can imagine getting swept up in a virtuous circle: Acting wisely reduces conflict in your life and strengthens your social relationships, and this fosters a sense of well-being that makes it easier to act wisely, and so on. But there’s also the vicious circle scenario—a downward spiral featuring growing unhappiness, commensurately unwise action, deeper unhappiness, and so on.

Read the full article here.