Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Character? What is Positive Psychology? How was the VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues developed?What are virtues?What differentiates VIA character strengths from other strengths? Are there benefits to exercising character strengths?Who should take the VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA Survey)? How long will it take me to complete the VIA Survey? If I purchase an additional in-depth report, how will I receive it? How much do the VIA Reports cost? Is the VIA Survey a Personality Assessment? How does the VIA Survey differ from other strengths assessments?As a professional, why would I choose to use VIA character strengths in my work? What sort of information can you share with me to help me benefit my clients? What is VIA? And, what is “VIA” an acronym for?What are character strengths? What are the definitions for the six virtues in the VIA Classification and which character strengths are included in each?What criteria were met in identifying the character strengths?I can think of other virtuous words that are not included in the VIA Classification. Why are words like patience and compassion not included?What is a signature strength?How do character strengths relate to happiness?How many people have taken the VIA Survey?What happens if I am interrupted or lose my connection when taking the VIA Survey?Is it necessary for me to work with a professional (coach, therapist, etc.) to get the most out of this survey? Is the information I share in my survey secure? What sort of information will you send me when I complete my survey? Why do you offer the VIA Survey for free? Are discounts available for the VIA Reports?Can I get any VIA Report for a survey I took on the Authentic Happiness website?Can I get a VIA Report for a survey I took last year?What is the difference between the VIA Character Strengths and the Gallup StrengthsFinder strengths?Do I need a specific professional accreditation to use the VIA Classification or VIA Survey in my work? Are there other places where I can read more about your work? Where can I get additional help using the VIA in various settings? Who do I contact for permissions to reprint the VIA Classification in my work?Who do I contact if I want to collaborate with the VIA Institute in some way?How does the VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV) relate to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)?Can I use the VIA Survey in my research? How is research data collected?What information is shared with researchers?How do VIA character strengths relate to the Big 5 Personality traits?What is the VIA Institute and how did it come about?Does the VIA report hold across multiple life situations or are your strengths situation-specific?I help people consider their various career options. E.g., when a person is high in forgiveness or humility, how do I link these to a desirable career option or advise the person against it?I took the VIA Survey six months ago and then took it again this week. I found the results were quite different between the two. Do the results change a lot over time? Positive psychology is inspiring. Is talking about positive psychology an intervention in itself?I meet with a lot of clients who hyperfocus on lower strengths – is this common? What do I do if someone insists on focusing on lower strengths?Do different strengths come to the fore when we are faced with a challenging situation?The suggestion to find some ways to increase the use of top strengths in "new ways" has me baffled. I cannot think of new ways to use my curiosity. I am overwhelmed right now in subjects that I am "curious" about. I have books and books to read on so many subjects. I am at risk of becoming a jack-of-all-trades-and-a-master-at-none. Is it possible that the core values can sometimes be a liability? When was the VIA developed and launched?


Further questions?

Contact the VIA Institute: 

The VIA Institute on Character
312 Walnut Street, Suite 3600
Cincinnati, OH 45202
VIA's Communications Specialist Kelly Aluise: