VIA Assessments

The VIA Assessments


Three versions are available for the original VIA Inventory of Strengths. In addition to the 120-question VIA Inventory available to the public, the VIA Institute offers two additional versions for research purposes only: VIA Inventory-240 and the VIA Inventory-72. All of the scales have good reliability and accumulating validity, and are available in a variety of translations. All items on these versions are positively keyed.


Guidelines for Use and Interpretation

VIA Citation


The VIA Institute has recently completed a substantial revision of the VIA Inventory of Strengths, as well as the development of several new scales. These new assessments are called the VIA Assessment Suite for Adults. A Technical Report describing the Assessment Suite for Adults is available here. The VIA Inventory of Strengths-Revised is now available in several new versions. The VIA-IS-M will in the future be the version available to the public once translations have been completed for several languages. This is a 96-item version that combines positively and negatively keyed items. The VIA-IS-P is a 96-item version on which all items are positively keyed, for populations that demonstrate cognitive limitations of any sort. The VIA-IS-R is a 192-item version intended for research purposes. Again, about half the items are negatively keyed. For any of these new versions, in addition to the scores for each of the 24 strength scales, you will also receive scoring for new virtue scales. The V6 virtue scales reflect the six virtues described by Peterson and Seligman (2004). The V3 virtue scales reflect the three virtues described by McGrath (2015). These can also be requested as separate scales.


In addition, two completely new instruments are available as part of the Assessment Suite. The Global Assessment of Character Strengths (GACS-72) is a 72-item scale, 3 items per strength, that asks about the degree to which each strength is essential, natural and effortless, and uplifting and energizing for the individual. Researchers can administer all 72 items. Alternatively, any of the three subsets of items can be administered as single-item indicators of the 24 strengths, though we recommend the 24 “natural and effortless” items for this purpose (GACS-24).


The other completely new instrument is the Signature Strengths Survey (SSS). This is a 24-item instrument intended to provide a gold standard for the identification of signature strengths. The administration of this instrument is a little complicated, so we recommend you learn more about it in the Technical Report. We have resources available for administering it through our website or for setting it up in a Qualtrics survey. The GACS and SSS are yours to use without permission after agreeing to our terms that the assessment will not be used for commercial purposes. You need only ask permission if you intend to administer them through the VIA website so you can receive data electronically. We just ask that you send us copies of any studies published using these instruments.


To summarize, the following versions are available:


The Original VIA Adult Assessments:

  • VIA-120: 120 items, all items positively keyed, 39 translations available, signature strengths and 24 strength scales can be computed
  • VIA-240: 240 items, all items positively keyed, 39 translations available, signature strengths and 24 strengths scales can be computed
  • VIA-72: 72 items, all items positively keyed, 39 translations available, signature strengths and 24 strengths scales can be computed
  • The Revised VIA Adult Assessments:

  • VIA-IS-M: 96 items, positively and negatively keyed; available in English only; signature strengths, 24 strength scales, and 9 virtue scales can be computed
  • VIA-IS-R: 192 items, positively and negatively keyed; available in English only; signature strengths, 24 strength scales, and 9 virtue scales can be computed
  • VIA-IS-V6: 48 items, positively and negatively keyed; available in English only; 6 virtue scales can be computed
  • VIA-IS-V3: 24 items, positively and negatively keyed; available in English only; 3 virtue scales can be computed
  • Additional Assessment Suite Assessments:

  • GACS-72: 72 items, positively keyed, available in English only, 24 strength scales can be computed; free to use without permission
  • GACS-24: 24 items, positively keyed, available in English only, 24 strength scales can be computed; free to use without permission
  • SSS: 24 items, the best single instrument for identifying signature strengths; free to use without permission


  • All of the scales have good reliability and accumulating validity, but we continue to develop and refine them. To this end, we invite your collaboration in the investigation of character strengths.

    Our goals are to coordinate and keep track of different research projects. You may indicate which version of the survey you would like to use on the VIA Research Request Form. You can view psychometric information for all versions of the VIA Survey.*If you plan to use a translated version of the VIA Survey, please note that translated surveys that are marked as "in development" are not considered validated measures. You may see a full list of translations here. Contact Kelly Aluise with questions. 


    The VIA Youth Survey (ages 10-17): 

    The VIA Institute offers two versions of the VIA Youth Survey for research purposes: The 96-question VIA Youth Survey and the 198-question VIA Youth Survey. Revised versions of these instruments are now under development. View psychometric information for the two versions of the VIA Youth Survey. *If you plan to use a translated version of the VIA Youth Survey, please note that translated surveys that are marked as "in development" are not considered validated measures. You may see a full list of translations here. Contact Kelly Aluise with questions. 

    Experimental Character Strength Surveys

    Overuse, Underuse, & Optimal-Use (OUOU) of Character Strengths: 72 items, generates 3 percentages for each of the 24 character strengths on overuse, underuse, and optimal-use. English only on the VIA site, at present. Available to all researchers. The purpose is to measure character strengths in balance (optimal use of strengths) and out of balance (excess and deficiency of strengths use) in the individual’s life.