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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

What is the good of a person? Answers to this question lie at the heart of moral philosophy and positive psychology. Our Values in Action (VIA) project describes important strengths of character and ways to measure them. The VIA classification includes 24 strengths of character. VIA measures are assessment devices that measure individual differences in the strengths in the classification. This article describes how the VIA classification was created, the ways character strengths are measured, and major empirical findings: distribution and demographics, correlates and consequences, origins and development, deliberate cultivation, interventions, and structure and trade-offs. Future research should include the relationship of character strengths to hard outcome measures, cultural differences and similarities, development, interventions, and the processes by which strengths of character give rise to actual behavior. This project supports the premise of positive psychology that attention to good character sheds light on what makes life worth living.

Keywords: assessment, character, life satisfaction, virtue, VIA classification

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