Frequently Asked Questions

What criteria were met in identifying the character strengths?

Each of the 24 VIA Character Strengths meets all or nearly all of the following:
• Is ubiquitous, found across cultures and time.
• Is fulfilling.
• Is morally valued in its own right, even in the absence of obvious beneficial outcomes.
• Does not diminish others.
• Has an undesirable opposite  (e.g., for curiosity, this would be disinterest).
• Is trait-like, meaning it manifests in a range of behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. It is general enough to cross situations & is stable over time.
• Is measurable.
• Is distinct from other positive traits in the classification.
• Has consensual paragons (exemplars).
• Has prodigies.
• Is non-existent in certain individuals within situations.
• Has cultural rituals for cultivating and sustaining them.


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: