“The Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV) handbook of human strengths and virtues by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman, represents the first attempt on the part of the psychological research community to identify and classify the positive psychological traits of human beings. The CSV identifies six classes of virtue (i.e., “core virtues”), made up of twenty-four measurable character strengths.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Strengths of Wisdom and Knowledge: Cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and skilful use of knowledge.
- 1. Creativity & Imagination [originality, ingenuity]: Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things.
- 2. Curiosity [interest, novelty-seeking, openness to experience]: Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; exploring and discovering.
- 3. Open-mindedness [holistic judgment, critical thinking]: Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; weighing all evidence fairly.
- 4. Love of learning: Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally.
- 5. Holistic perspective [wisdom]: Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people.
Strengths of Courage: Emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, external and internal.
- 6. Bravery [valor]: Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; acting on convictions even if unpopular.
- 7. Persistence [perseverance, industriousness]: Finishing what one starts; persisting in a course of action in spite of obstacles.
- 8. Integrity [authenticity, honesty]: Presenting oneself in a genuine way; taking responsibility for one’s feeling and actions.
- 9. Vitality [zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy]: Approaching life with optimism and energy; feeling alive and motivated.
Strengths of Humanity: interpersonal strengths that involve supporting and befriending others.
- 10. Love & Compassion: Valuing close relations with others, in particular, those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated.
- 11. Kindness [generosity, nurturance, care, compassion, altruistic love, “niceness”]: Doing favours and good deeds for others.
- 12. Social intelligence [emotional intelligence, personal intelligence]: Being aware of the motives and feelings of other people and oneself.
Strengths of Justice: strengths that underlie healthy and harmonious community life.
- 13. Citizenship [social responsibility, loyalty, teamwork]: Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group.
- 14. Fairness: Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting personal feelings bias decisions about others.
- 15. Leadership: Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the same maintain time good relations within the group.
Strengths of Temperance: strengths that protect against unhealthy excess and egotism.
- 16. Forgiveness and mercy: Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful.
- 17. Humility / Modesty: Letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is.
- 18. Prudence: Being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted.
- 19. Self-regulation [self-control]: Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one’s appetites and emotions (equanimity).
Strengths of Transcendence: strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning in life.
- 20. Appreciation of beauty and excellence [awe, wonder, elevation]: Appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life.
- 21. Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful of the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.
- 22. Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, future orientation]: Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it.
- 23. Humour [playfulness]: Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side.
- 24. Spirituality [religiousness, faith, purpose]: Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose, the meaning of life, and the meaning of the universe.
Description of 24 Traits adapted from VIA website.
Related: Blog essays concerned with efforts in education to encourage a greater emphasis on these 24 strengths and virtues:
- Toward a More Creative & Holistic Model of Education,
- Understanding How Our Brains Learn,
- Real Learning is a Creative Process,
- Self-Direction is the Key to Mastery,
- How Wisdom Grows- Educating Hearts & Minds,
- Much That Matters Cannot Be Measured,
- Children Need to Be Free to Learn.