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Character strengths

VIA Strengths

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VIA Institute on Character website

The website requires you to create a login account to take the test.

VIA strengths refer to the 24 character strengths that are identified and measured by the VIA character strengths assessment. VIA stands for "Values in Action," and the VIA assessment is based on positive psychology research that suggests that identifying and leveraging an individual's character strengths can lead to greater well-being and a more fulfilling life. 

The VIA assessment is a self-report questionnaire consisting of 240 questions that asks individuals to rate the extent to which they agree or disagree with a series of statements related to each of the 24 character strengths. The results provide individuals with a ranking of their top character strengths. 

The 24 VIA strengths are organized into six categories: 

  1. Wisdom and knowledge: creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective 
  1. Courage: bravery, perseverance, honesty, zest 
  1. Humanity: kindness, love, social intelligence 
  1. Justice: fairness, leadership, teamwork 
  1. Temperance: forgiveness, humility, prudence, self-regulation 
  1. Transcendence: appreciation of beauty, gratitude, hope, humour, spirituality 

Pros and cons of VIA Strengths

Pros of VIA Strengths

  1. Positive approach: The VIA strengths assessment focuses on identifying and building on individuals' strengths rather than solely on their weaknesses or deficits. 
  1. Scientifically grounded: The VIA strengths assessment is based on extensive research in positive psychology and has been validated through numerous studies. 
  1. Self-awareness: The VIA strengths assessment can help individuals gain a better understanding of their personal strengths and areas for growth. 
  1. Personal development: Identifying and leveraging one's top character strengths can lead to personal growth and a greater sense of purpose. 
  1. Improved relationships: By understanding one's own character strengths and the character strengths of others, individuals can improve their relationships and interactions with others. 
  1. Free and accessible: The VIA strengths assessment is available for free online and can be completed by anyone with internet access. 

Cons of VIA Strengths

  1. Self-report bias: The VIA strengths assessment is a self-report questionnaire and is subject to biases and limitations in self-awareness. 
  1. Limited accuracy: The VIA strengths assessment measures character strengths on a continuum, which can limit the accuracy of the assessment and oversimplify complex human traits. 
  1. Cultural bias: The VIA strengths assessment has been criticized for being culturally biased and not accounting for cultural differences in values and strengths. 
  1. Simplification of complexity: The VIA strengths assessment categorizes character strengths into 24 distinct categories, which may oversimplify the complexity of human personality and behaviour. 
  1. Overemphasis on positivity: The VIA strengths assessment is focused on identifying and building on positive traits, which may overlook the importance of addressing negative traits and challenges. 

Other assessments

Personality tests

Values and strengths tests

Skills and career interests tests

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