VIA Character (A complete guide)
This blog provides information about the VIA character.
According to positive psychology, recognition of an individual’s personal strengths, and using them wisely is the basic part of striving for a ‘good life’, or pursuing eudemonic happiness.
Empirical evidence has shown that when an individual puts light on positive aspects of his life, the people around him are positively influenced, the relationships of the individual are improved, his level of happiness is increased and overall well-being is also enhanced.
The character strengths are the abilities of an individual that come naturally to the individual and gives the individual a unique character.
There are a total of 24 VIA character strengths. Every individual contains all of these 24 character strengths in varying amounts.
Recognition of these character strengths can help an individual make his life a better and happier one.
Research has shown that the individuals who recognize and use their character strengths are about 18 times more likely to succeed in their lives than those who do not know their strengths.
Let’s take a look at how these VIA character strengths were discovered, what are these strengths, how we can identify these strengths, and what are the benefits of recognizing these character strengths.
How were the VIA Character Strengths Created?
The VIA character strengths were developed by Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Christopher Peterson.
Dr. Martin Seligman is recognized as the father of positive psychology as well as the author of ‘authentic happiness’ and ‘flourish’, while Dr. Christopher Peterson is known for being a scientist at the University of Michigan as well as the author of ‘a primer in positive psychology’.
The VIA character strengths are measured through ‘The VIA character strengths self-assessment survey’.
This survey is preferred by researchers for collecting empirical evidence and it is regarded as a central tool of positive psychology.
Strengths and Virtues
There are a total of 24 VIA character strengths which are grouped into 6 virtues.
The six virtues along with their strength are as follows (Ruch & Proyer, 2015; VIACharacter.org, 2020):
- Transcendence: The virtue transcendence includes excellence and beauty, gratitude, hope, spirituality, and humor. Transcendence strength helps an individual to connect with his world meaningfully.
- Wisdom: The virtue wisdom includes curiosity, creativity, perspective, love of learning, and judgment. This virtual help individual to learn and collect knowledge.
- Humanity: This virtual contains three character strengths including social intelligence, love, and kindness. This virtue helps individuals maintain healthy and positive relationships with others.
- Courage: The virtue of courage includes bravery, zest, honesty, and perseverance. This virtual encourages individuals to confront adversities of life bravely and reflect back.
- Temperature: The character strengths temperature help individuals deal with their habits and prevent an excess of it. This includes self- regulation, prudence, humility, and forgiveness.
- Justice: This category contains character strengths such as teamwork, leadership, and fairness. These strengths help an individual relate himself to the people around him or in group situations.
These VIA character strengths and virtues can be identified with the help of the VIA survey.
VIA survey is a self-report survey that helps an individual recognize the personal strengths he has.
What Is the VIA Survey?
The VIA survey is an integral part of the VIA Institute. The VIA survey is a psychometric test with really good reliability and validity.
It is a self- report measure that helps individuals recognize their strengths and virtues.
Identification of character strengths can help an individual use them for improving their quality of life, confront daily challenges, work towards goal achievement process, and feel complete both personally and in terms of career.
The VIA survey not only benefits the users of this survey but also give an opportunity to researchers to use this data and work for advancements in science and technology.
You can take the VIA survey from here.
7 Benefits of Recognizing Your Strengths
We have discussed the benefits of identifying character strengths briefly in the previous paragraphs.
The following are some more benefits of recognizing character strengths:
1. Enhanced Well-being
Practicing VIA character strengths help individuals enhance their well-being and reduce the symptoms of psychological distress in the case of adults (Linley et al., 2010; Mongrain and Anselmo-Matthews, 2012; Fava & Ruini, 2014).
Seligman and colleagues did research in 2006 to study the effect of VIA character strengths on youth.
They found that using character strengths increased satisfaction with life and reduced symptoms of depression in youth.
The character strengths, zest, and hope are found to be positively correlated to self-acceptance.
According to positive psychology, self-acceptance is the core element of maintaining healthy relationships with oneself, aiding in reducing one’s perceived inadequacies and making one realize that he is enough.
3. Greater Happiness
A number of researches have unveiled that a positive relationship occurs between character strengths and happiness.
Some of these researches with their findings are as follows:
- An Israeli study revealed that transcendence strengths predict positive affect and life satisfaction (Weber et al., 2013).
- Peterson and colleagues did research in 2007 the results of which revealed that various character strengths are predictors of happiness through meaning, an integral part of Seligman’s model PERMA, including curiosity, zest, and hope. The research results also showed that engagement and pleasure lead to happiness (Schueller & Seligman, 2010).
- Schutte and Malouff did a study in 2019, the results of which indicated that developing character strengths can enhance [ositive affect and increase satisfaction with life (Schutte & Malouff, 2019).
4. Improved Mental Health
Schutte and Malouff’s study in 2019 also revealed that developing character strengths can help reduce the symptoms of depression.
Since the absence of mental illness does not mean an individual is mentally fit, these research findings are found to be consistent with the study of Tehranchi and colleagues (2018), according to which character strengths are negatively associated with dysfunctional attitudes and positively associated with happiness.
Another study by Zhang and Chen in 2018 revealed that character strengths and future self-continuity are related to subjective well-being.
This research finding is consistent with other researches including that of Gilham and colleagues who in 2011 performed a study on identifying the role of interpersonal connections and a sense of meaning in future well-being.
5. Positive Work Experiences
Hazer and Ruch explored te use of signature strengths in organizations with the help of Applicability of Character Strengths Rating Scales (ACS-RS) in 2013.
He determined that the more the numbers of character strengths were applied while working the higher were people’s subjective experiences.
Recent empirical evidence has shown that the use of character strengths leaves a positive and strong influence on behavioral outcomes for example job performance and organizational citizenship behavior.
Happiness strength more strongly affects psycho-emotional outcomes in the workplace like satisfaction, engagement, and experienced meaning (Littman-Ovadia et al., 2017).
6. Positive Affect at School
Empirical evidence has shown that positive correlations exist between positive mood at schools and character strengths including perseverance, social intelligence, zest, and love of learning.
Other signature strengths were associated with overall academic achievement and still, others were negatively correlated with negative affect such as hope and love among others (Weber et al., 2016).
These research results are helpful for students in fulfilling their full capability and creating more positive school experiences.
Teachers and educators can plan a curriculum with the utilization of resources to develop character strengths in students to enhance their quality of life (Lavy, 2019).
7. Efficient Problem-Solving
Empirical evidence has revealed that helping youth to recognize their character strengths and aid them in wisely using these character strengths provides a few benefits.
Rashid and colleagues tested the efficacy of strengths intervention in 2013 and found out that children can resolve their issues more skilfully when they are taught how to use signature strengths for tackling problems.
The following is a list of some of the best books on VIA character strengths.
You can read these books to increase your knowledge about VIA character strengths and identify ways in which you can recognize and benefit from these strengths.
All of these books are easily accessible from the Amazon Store.
Click your favorite book and you will be redirected to the page from where you can get it.
- The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate and Ignite Your Positive Personality by Ryan Niemiec and Robert McGrath
- Character Strengths Interventions by Ryan M. Niemiec
- The Strengths-Based Workbook for Stress Relief: A Character Strengths Approach to Finding Calm in the Chaos of Daily Life (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) Part of New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook (73 Books) | by Ryan M. Niemiec and Neal H. Mayerson
- Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life: Positive Psychology News Series by Shannon Polly, Kathryn H. Britton, et al.
- Character Strengths Intervention Cards by Matthijs Steeneveld, Anouk van den Berg, et al. | Aug 21, 2019
What does it mean to have the strength of character?
To have a strength of character means to have strong values and to be able to distinguish between right and wrong and do the right thing even when the people are pursuing you to do wrong.
It means being able to make the right decisions at the right time.
What are the 24 via character strengths?
The 24 VIA character strengths include an appreciation of beauty and excellence, bravery, creativity, curiosity, fairness, forgiveness, gratitude, honesty, hope, humility, humor, judgment, kindness, leadership, love, love of learning, perseverance, perspective, prudence, self-regulation, social intelligence, spirituality, teamwork, and zest.
What are the 6 traits of good character?
The six traits of good character include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.
What are the 7 character traits?
According to the outlines of Tough’s book, the seven character traits that lead to success include grit, curiosity, self-control, social intelligence, zest, optimism, and gratitude.
What is the character of a person?
The character of a person is referred to as the sum of qualities present in the individual that makes him different from others.
However, there is a negative side of a character as well which is yet unknown to you.
This blog aimed to give you information on the VIA character strengths. The blog explained in detail all the virtues and strengths.
The benefits of identifying character strengths were also mentioned in the blog to help you acknowledge the importance of character strengths and identify the ways in which you can benefit from your character strengths.
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VIA Character Strengths Survey & Character Profile Reports …
The VIA Survey: 31 Ways to Recognize Your Strengths and Act on Them by Catherine Moore (2020)
VIA Character Strengths – Habits for Wellbeing