CoverAcknowledgements IntroductionPERMAExperiencing GratitudeExperiencing Gratitude - Novice HighExperiencing Gratitude - Intermediate MidResilienceResilience - Novice HighResilience - Intermediate MidActive Constructive RespondingActive Constructive Responding - Novice HighActive Constructive Responding - Intermediate MidServiceService - Novice High Service - Intermediate MidGoalsGoals - Novice HighGoals - Intermediate MidExpressing GratitudeExpressing Gratitude - Novice HighExpressing Gratitude - Intermediate MidPerseverancePerseverance - Novice HighPerseverance - Intermediate MidKindnessKindness - Novice HighKindness - Intermediate MidVolunteerismVolunteerism - Novice HighVolunteerism - Intermediate MidHopeHope - Novice HighHope - Intermediate MidCharacter StrengthsOverviewOverview on Character Strengths - Novice HighOverview on Character Strengths - Intermediate MidAppreciation of Beauty and ExcellenceAppreciation of Beauty and Excellence - Novice HighAppreciation of Beauty and Excellence - Intermediate MidTeamworkTeamwork - Novice HighTeamwork - Intermediate MidLove of LearningLove of Learning - Novice HighLove of Learning - Intermediate MidKindnessKindness - Novice HighKindness - Intermediate MidHonestyHonesty - Novice HighHonesty - Intermediate MidSelf-RegulationSelf-Regulation - Novice HighSelf-Regulation - Intermediate MidCuriosityCuriosity - Novice HighCuriosity - Intermediate MidSpiritualitySpirituality - Novice HighSpirituality - Intermediate MidCreativityCreativity - Novice HighCreativity - Intermediate MidMindfulnessOverviewOverview - Novice HighOverview - Intermediate MidMindful PeopleMindful People - Novice HighMindful People - Intermediate MidGrieving MindfullyGrieving Mindfully - Novice HighGrieving Mindfully - Intermediate MidPerfectionismPerfectionism - Novice HighPerfectionism - Intermediate MidThe Five SensesThe Five Senses - Novice HighThe Five Senses - Intermediate MidConnecting to the PastConnecting to the Past - Novice HighConnecting to the Past - Intermediate MidSelf-CompassionSelf-Compassion - Novice HighSelf-Compassion - Intermediate MidPerspectivePerspective - Novice HighPerspective - Intermediate MidHandling Strong EmotionsHandling Strong Emotions - Novice HighHandling Strong Emotions - Intermediate MidMindful RelationshipsMindful Relationships - Novice HighMindful Relationships - Intermediate MidMindful LearningMindful Learning - Novice HighMindful Learning - Intermediate MidCultural MindfulnessCultural Mindfulness - Novice HighCultural Mindfulness - Intermediate MidSelective AttentionSelective Attention - Novice HighSelective Attention - Intermediate MidAnnotated Bibliography

Character Strengths

There are 24 character strengths (CS) that a person can possess, each within a  category of six different virtues, which are wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence  (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). These CS are reminders of the best qualities of one’s personality. CS have value in other areas of human flourishing as well. Character strengths are positively related to academic success (indicators such as GPA) and academic satisfaction (Rashid & Seligman, 2008; Lounsbury, Fisher, Levy & Welsh, 2009). There are human strengths (CS) that act as buffers against mental illness. Much of the task of prevention in this century will be to create a science of human strength whose mission will be to understand and learn how to foster these virtues in young people.

Knowing the best qualities of a person can help improve many aspects of life. One woman, having taken a survey provided by the Values in Action (VIA) Institute on Character about her signature CS, discovered that self-regulation was her 24th or last strength, meaning it was the one she was worst at. Distraught at this discovery, she worked on self-regulation and took the survey again years later. It moved from 24th to second place (Niemiec, 2017). CS that are weaknesses don’t have to remain weaknesses. They can be improved. CS are also relevant and promote flourishing– experiencing positive emotions, social experiences and growth that are associated with “happiness, flow, meaning, love, gratitude, accomplishment” and so forth (Seligman, 2012)– in many different domains of life (Wagner, Pindeus, & Ruch, 2021). Because CS are relevant in multiple aspects of life, knowing personal CS can cultivate improvement in those aspects. 

End-of-Chapter Survey

: How would you rate the overall quality of this chapter?
  1. Very Low Quality
  2. Low Quality
  3. Moderate Quality
  4. High Quality
  5. Very High Quality
Comments will be automatically submitted when you navigate away from the page.
Like this? Endorse it!