Frequently Asked Questions

When was the VIA developed and launched?

The idea came in 1999 when Neal Mayerson spoke with Marty Seligman about Marty’s call to the psychology field for a more positive psychology, one in which character is the backbone. Several conversations and scientific meetings later, the organization Values in Action Institute was formed around 2000 to put the science to work on character. After three years of work, various scientific meetings, and collaboration of 55 scholars, the VIA Classification was completed published in 2004. Also during that time, after several revisions, the VIA Survey was made open for anyone to take in 2003.

Note that VIA is now a word that stands on its own. It used to stand for Values in Action but the official name of the nonprofit organization is the VIA Institute on Character (and the survey is the VIA Inventory of Strengths. The change was made in order to place emphasis on what this work is really about – our core strengths of character. To this day, you will still see writings that say Values in Action but this is not accurate.


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: