Learn Your Character Strengths & Personal Traits | VIA Institute

How can understanding character strengths change your life?

When you know your best character traits, you can improve your life and thrive. Research shows that using your character strengths can help you:

  • Improve your relationships
  • Enhance health and overall wellbeing
  • Buffer against, manage and overcome problems

Workers who use four or more of their signature strengths at work have more positive work experiences and report their work is a calling in their life.

We all have a distinct constellation of strengths

Character strengths are different than your other personal strengths, such as your unique skills, talents, interests and resources, because they reflect the "real" you—who you are at your core. Every individual possesses all 24 character strengths in different degrees, giving each person a unique character profile. Discover your personal character strengths profile by taking the scientifically validated VIA Survey.

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The Science of Character

The study of strengths started in the early 2000s, when scientists gathered to study character more scientifically. A total of 55 distinguished scientists joined the study over several years.

The result was the VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues (Peterson & Seligman, 2004), a classification of positive traits in human beings. Since then, hundreds of peer-reviewed articles have been published across many cultures.

Once the VIA Classification was complete, a ground-breaking personal strengths test, the VIA Survey, was designed specifically to measure these 24 character strengths in individuals. Since then, over 7 million surveys have been taken around the world and VIA continues to fuel the advancements of character strengths science through research, personalized profile reports, books and more.