Character strengths reflect who you are at your core. They are different than your other personal strengths, such as your unique skills, talents, interests and resources. Every individual possesses all 24 character strengths in different degrees, giving each person a unique character strengths profile.
There are 6 classes of virtues that are made up of 24 character strengths:
- Wisdom and Knowledge
It has been found that workers who use four or more of their signature strengths at work have more positive work experiences and report their work is a calling in their life.
In order to be qualified as a universal character strength, an attribute must display the following attributes characteristics:
(1) A strength contributes to fulfilment and to the good life.
(2) A strength is morally valued in its own right.
(3) Displaying a strength does not diminish others.
(4) Almost every parent wants their child to have the strengths.
(5) There are rituals and institutions within a society that support the strength.
(6) Each of the strengths is universal, valued by almost every religion, politics, and culture – now and in the past.
Via an article in the Journal of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman laid out the basics of Peterson’s framework, some fundamental ideas that he left before his untimely death. In Seligman’s words:
‘The theory is Aristotlean, evoking the health of the golden mean: it claims that psychological health is the presence of the strengths and that the real disorders are the absence, the excess, or the opposite of the strengths.’
Peterson created a tableau, consisting of the 24 strengths, and 72 terms that represent the absence, excess, and opposites of each “asset”:
To identify your Character Strengths, take the online test available on the VIA website. The test comprises 120 questions and takes about 30 minutes. After taking the test, you will get the ranking of your 24 strengths.