Wisdom is an ancient construct with a long history of conceptualisation based on normative approaches across cultures, ranging from Greek philosophers such as Socrates and Aristotle to Chinese philosophers such as Confucius. In recent years, the concept of wisdom has been further revitalised in empirical research on social and positive psychology [1-4]. The latest empirical research on wisdom can be broadly categorised into two domains . The first one is performance measure of personal wisdom, also known as Berlin wisdom paradigm, involves the analysis of wisdom-related performance in laboratory setting with trained raters to transcribe the responded data introduced in the 1980s [6, 7]. In recent years, this explicit theory based method was utilised and adapted in different contexts, such as in Australia , China , Germany  and United States . The focus of this paper is the second approach, i.e., latent factor analyses of wisdom that mainly rely on using self-reported survey methods to assess wisdom, such as Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale (SAWS) , Three-dimensional Wisdom Scale , Practical Wisdom Scale and Transcendent Wisdom Scale  and Wisdom Development Scale , etc. We acknowledge that the above constructs indeed provide important tools for researchers and practitioners to study the issues related to different facets of wisdom. The purpose of this study is not to compare the wisdom constructs, which have been widely discussed and debated by scholars, both normatively and with empirical evidence [3, 15-20]. Rather, we embrace the idea that each wisdom construct has its own merits and the variety of constructs can enhance our understanding of wisdom across different dimensions and situations.
Nevertheless, the abovementioned latent factor analyses of wisdom constructs suffer from two limitations. First, the scale developers did not employ the latest validation tools to evaluate the dimensionality and factor structure of the scales. These scales were developed with a sole reliance on the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) results to identify the factor structure, without verification by a confirmative factor analysis (CFA) [2, 13]. Second, while some studies have attempted to validate the wisdom scales with a CFA, the adopted cut-off criteria were far below the current standards, and the scales also suffer from problems like a lack of internal reliability [2, 5, 12, 21, 22]. To solve the above problems, many wisdom scales have been revised, validated and adapted into different languages or developed into shortened versions for ease of use [12, 17-19, 23-26]. Yet, there is paucity of study examined the dimensionality and validity of SAWS with the latest psychometric tools which warrant our attention.
The Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale (SAWS), a self-reported instrument for measuring wisdom at the individual level, has been widely used by researchers and clinical practitioners. SAWS focuses on five dimensions, namely experience, reminiscence, openness, emotion regulation and humour, and has received positive evaluations of its internal consistency and psychometric properties [2, 18, 19, 23, 27]. Numerous studies have used SAWS to explore the relationships between wisdom and various psychosocial outcomes. JD Webster  suggested that wisdom is positively associated with psychosocial characteristics derived from the Erikson tradition, such as ego-integrity, life attitudes and values. Using hierarchical regression analysis, JD Webster, GJ Westerhof and ET Bohlmeijer  identified a positive relationship between wisdom and mental health among Dutch adults. The balanced time perspective also uniquely predicted both mental health and wisdom in a sample of 512 adults in the Netherlands . JD Webster and XC Deng  used the wisdom scale to study the relationship between traumatic life events and mental health outcomes among 320 respondents in Canada. A later study further suggested that wisdom and meaning contribute to positive self-development in areas such as optimism, self-esteem and self-characteristics in emerging adulthood . In a recent study, C Cheung and EO Chow  identified a positive relationship between wisdom and well-being among older Chinese.
Despite the widespread application of SAWS, few studies have managed to fully replicate its original factor structure. Although SAWS possesses good internal consistency and convergent validity [23, 27], its factor structure and dimensionality are inconclusive and subject to a number of limitations [17, 19]. First, to date, no studies have used CFA to validate the 40-item five latent factor structure of the scale. JD Webster  used CFA to analyse five sub-scale factors used to predict the latent construct wisdom rather than analysing all of the 40 items. Second, some of the SAWS items have a complicated factor structure. For example, JD Webster  reported that the ‘humor and openness dimensions have some overlap and weaker loadings’ (p. 16). In particular, items 12, 27 and 17 share the attributes of emotion regulation and reminiscence, items 14 and 24 are related to both emotion regulation and humour and items 5 and 20 are related to openness and humour.
The cross-cultural differences in wisdom that may also account for studies unable to replicate the factor structure. Controversies have arisen when studies have attempted to adapt the scale to other contexts. P Alves, L Morgado and Bd Oliveira  attempted to validate a Portuguese version of the 40-item SAWS, but their EFA results showed that the factor structure was significantly different from that of the original scale. In response, the authors proposed five alternative wisdom domains, namely reflection, mood, emotional self-regulation, experience and open mindedness, which are significantly different from those of the original SAWS. Due to the mixed findings on the factor structure of the wisdom scale, A Urrutia, GM de Espanes, C Ferrari, G Borgna, AM Alderete and F Villar  combined the 40-item SAWS and 79-item Wisdom Development Scale (WDS) to obtain a shortened 20-item scale with a three-factor structure for studying wisdom related issues. They applied the shortened scale in a study based on a sample of older adults in Argentina. However, their CFA results suggested very marginal model fit.
Given the controversies surrounding the full version of SAWS, this study explores whether the factor structure and dimensionality of the scale need further refinement. As JD Webster , who developed the original scale, stated, ‘continued refinement of specific scale items may eliminate those which explain little overall variance’ (p. 21). The first part of this study shows that the full 40-item scale fails to replicate the factor structure of SAWS using CFA. However, the EFA results support the development of a unidimensional nine-item Brief Self-Assessed Wisdom Scale (BSAWS). In the next section, the psychometric properties of the newly proposed BSAWS are evaluated and various tools are used to examine its internal consistency, convergent validity and construct validity. Overall, the results show that the BSAWS provides an efficient and valid tool for assessing wisdom using empirical data and psychometric evidence in different cultural contexts, i.e., Chinese culture.