VIA Assessments: OUOU

Overuse, Underuse, Optimal-Use of Character Strengths (OUOU): 

The Overuse, Underuse, Optimal-Use of Character Strengths Scale (OUOU) was developed by Pavel Freidlin, Dr. Hadassah Littman-Ovadia, and Dr. Ryan Niemiec to assess the degree to which people report using their character strengths inappropriately too little, too much, or in a balanced manner. After publication, the scale underwent revision by the authors and Dr. Robert McGrath to improve its language and accuracy in assessing the constructs (e.g., overuse of creativity, underuse of fairness, optimal-use of bravery, and so on). Early findings have revealed significant correlations between overuse, underuse, and optimal-use of strengths with flourishing, life satisfaction, and depression. Scores have also been studied in relation to clinical conditions. For example, a combination of 6 overuses/underuses was able to identify, with 87.5% accuracy, whether someone met threshold criteria for social anxiety disorder. 

OUOU Psychometrics

Strength

 

Mean

Std. Deviation

 

Underuse

18.56

20.03

Creativity

Optimal-use

62.49

21.78

 

Overuse

18.95

13.28

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

13

15.01

Curiosity

Optimal-use

71.95

20.06

 

Overuse

15.05

15.85

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

18.58

17.73

Judgment

Optimal-use

63.25

21.62

 

Overuse

18.17

14.59

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

4.29

8.4

Love of Learning

Optimal-use

74.04

22.05

 

Overuse

21.67

20.9

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

12.63

12.23

Perspective

Optimal-use

71.07

17.83

 

Overuse

16.3

15.03

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

37.56

27.1

Bravery

Optimal-use

52.91

25.92

 

Overuse

9.53

13.5

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

15.56

18.96

Perseverance

Optimal-use

62.65

22.62

 

Overuse

21.79

18.41

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

21

20.33

Honesty

Optimal-use

61.13

22.35

 

Overuse

17.87

16.13

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

20

22.05

Zest

Optimal-use

66.67

23.56

 

Overuse

13.33

15.7

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

10.28

15.65

Love

Optimal-use

69.83

24.29

 

Overuse

19.89

20.39

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

9.74

13.25

Kindness

Optimal-use

78.15

17.22

 

Overuse

12.11

13.07

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

8.33

13.92

Social Intelligence

Optimal-use

59.01

24.67

 

Overuse

32.66

23.43

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

35.55

30.77

Teamwork

Optimal-use

52.62

28.6

 

Overuse

11.83

15.39

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

22.1

19.77

Fairness

Optimal-use

67.9

22.18

 

Overuse

10

14.27

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

26.81

25.22

Leadership

Optimal-use

67.17

25.93

 

Overuse

6.02

11.79

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

20.01

22.03

Forgiveness

Optimal-use

65.87

26.01

 

Overuse

14.12

17.77

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

21.31

21.96

Humility

Optimal-use

68.7

23.57

 

Overuse

9.99

13.61

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

22.57

23.07

Prudence

Optimal-use

60.8

24.32

 

Overuse

16.63

18.32

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

26.51

21.43

Self-Regulation

Optimal-use

63.85

23.52

 

Overuse

9.64

12.17

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

6.32

11.5

Appr. of Beauty/Excell

Optimal-use

63.5

26.29

 

Overuse

30.18

27.03

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

11.05

16.84

Gratitude

Optimal-use

69.17

22.43

 

Overuse

19.78

20.78

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

14

19.19

Hope

Optimal-use

68.87

24.39

 

Overuse

17.13

18.1

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

10.99

15.47

Humor

Optimal-use

78.87

18.98

 

Overuse

10.14

13.73

 

 

 

 

 

Underuse

13.2

25.88

Spirituality

Optimal-use

64.65

30.61

 

Overuse

22.15

27.14

OUOU Citation 

Freidlin, P., Littman-Ovadia, H., & Niemiec, R. M. (2017). Positive psychopathology: Social anxiety via character strengths underuse and overuse. Personality and Individual Differences, 108, 50–54. DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.12.003

 

OUOU Languages 

The OUOU is available in English only. If you would like to volunteer to translate the OUOU, please contact us here