Brain Training for Values and Wisdom

Values and wisdom concern promote overall well-being. Wisdom involves living realistically  by values that infuse one’s actions and goals with meaning and purpose  – thereby promoting  a sense of a life ‘worth living’.


Values & Wisdom: Definition

‘Values’ are defined as:

principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life

What really matters to you, deep in your heart? What do you want to do with your time on this planet? What sort of person do you want to be? What personal strengths or qualities do you want to develop? What would you like to have achieved by the end of your life, looking back?

‘Wisdom’ is defined as:

the capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends

Are you living consistently with your values, and overall been competent in attaining your higher life goals, thereby attaining overall a sense of ‘living well’?


Scientific Basis

‘There is a known association between goal attainment and psychological well-being. The research suggests that attaining goals promotes well-being when three conditions are met (ref):

  1. Your actions need to be self-initiated and autonomous – in other words, your motives and goals need to be intrinsic and meaningful to you – based on your own values – rather than externally imposed.
  2. You need to experience mastery and competence with respect to the outcomes of your actions.
  3. In pursuing your goals you benefit from a connection with and a sense of belonging to a social group or valued others.

Other research shows:

  • Knowing our values, and living in alignment with them is associated with less depressed mood and more subjective well-being (ref).


IQ Mindware Values & Wisdom Exercises

(These exercises can help guide your applied intelligence wheel rating.)

Tripartite Training HighIQPro


1. Mindfulness / Meta-Awareness

Meta-awareness is needed in determining if your current situation and actions are meaningful and aligned with your higher values. Try to reflect on regular patterns of activities in your life, and consider this kind of question.


2. Mindware Strategies

This is an initial exercise, just to help with explicit thought about higher level values. You can use this worksheet if it is useful.

Consider the following categories: career/employment, friendships/social life, family, partner, parenting, education, personal development, recreation, spirituality, citizenship/politics, health (physical and mental).  1. In each category, write (or formulate in thought) a brief description of your values (e.g. be caring and reliable, have an impact, etc). 2. Now rate each category according to how important it is to you from 1 to 10 (0 = not important; 10 = maximally important). 3. Give each domain a rating according to how successfully you have lived your life in accordance with this value in the past month (0 = not at all; 10 = perfectly).


3. Cognitive Capacity (Gated DNB) Training

In training with our software over a full 40 Session period, you are demonstrating a commitment to the higher order goal of improving your intelligence – your capacity to think, learn, make decisions, solve problems, and so on.

At IQ Mindware, one values-guided goal that underlies all our brain training programs, is that of improving our cognitive capability to learn, and acquire skill and knowledge. For us this is a satisfying, worthwhile end in itself, and integral to a wiser life in our considered view.


I am a cognitive scientist with a joint Ph.D in cognitive psychology and neuroscience from the Center of the Neural Basis of Cognition (Carnegie Mellon/Pittsburgh). At IQ Mindware we develop brain training interventions to increase IQ, critical thinking, decision making, creativity and executive functioning.