Frequently Asked Questions

I can think of other virtuous words that are not included in the VIA Classification. Why are words like patience and compassion not included?

This is a common question and a fun one to consider. Most of the time the words are better accounted for by another strength (not distinctive enough from other strengths) or the word really reflects a combination of several strengths. For example, altruism and compassion are subsumed under kindness; there are some differences between them (e.g., compassion usually involves a deep feeling of another’s suffering) but the overall overlap is considerable. Compassion is also listed in the classification as part of the kindness cluster. Patience, on the other hand, seems to be a combination of judgment, perseverance, and self-regulation; tolerance reflects a combination of judgment and fairness.


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: