VIA Survey Psychometric Data

NEW VIA Assessment Suite for Adults

The VIA Institute has recently completed a substantial revision of the VIA Inventory of Strengths, as well as the development of several new scales. These new instruments are called the VIA Assessment Suite for Adults. A Technical Report describing the Test Suite for Adults is available here. Instruments in the new Assessment Suite are:

  • VIA-IS-M: 96 items, positively and negatively keyed;signature strengths, 24 strength scales, and 9 virtue scales can be computed

  • VIA-IS-P: 96 items, positively keyed; signature strengths, 24 strength scales, and 9 virtue scales can be computed

  • VIA-IS-R: 192 items, positively and negatively keyed; signature strengths, 24 strength scales, and 9 virtue scales can be computed

  • VIA-IS-V6: 48 items, positively and negatively keyed; 6 virtue scales can be computed

  • VIA-IS-V3: 24 items, positively and negatively keyed; 3 virtue scales can be computed

In addition, two new instruments are available as part of the Assessment Suite.

  • The Global Assessment of Character Strengths (GACS) is a 72-item scale, 3 items per strength, that asks about the degree to which each strength is essential, natural and effortless, and uplifting and energizing for the individual. Researchers can administer all 72 items. Alternatively, any of the three subsets of items can be administered as single-item indicators of the 24 strengths, though we recommend the 24 “natural and effortless” items for this purpose (GACS-24).

  • The other completely new instrument is the Signature Strengths Survey (SSS). This is a 24-item instrument intended to provide a gold standard for the identification of signature strengths. The administration of this instrument is a little complicated, so we recommend you learn more about it in the Technical Report. We have resources available for administering it through our website or for setting it up in a Qualtrics survey. The GACS and SSS are yours to use without permission. You can modify them for research purposes however you would like. You need only ask permission if you intend to administer them through the VIA website so you can receive data electronically. We just ask that you send us copies of any studies published using these instruments.

 Additional Test Suite Instruments:

  • GACS-72: 72 items, positively keyed, 24 strength scales can be computed; free to use without permission

  • GACS-24: 24 items, positively keyed, 24 strength scales can be computed; free to use without permission

  • SSS: 24 items, the best single instrument for identifying signature strengths; free to use without permission

All of the scales have good reliability and accumulating validity, but we continue to develop and refine them. To this end, we invite your collaboration in the investigation of character strengths.

View Technical Report

Original VIA Surveys (Long form and Short forms): 

There are three versions of the original VIA Inventory of Strengths. In addition to the 120-question VIA Inventory available to the public, the VIA Institute offers two additional versions for research purposes only: VIA Inventory-240 and the VIA Inventory-72. All of the scales have good reliability and accumulating validity, and are available in a variety of translations. All items on these versions are positively keyed.

Initial psychometrics have been conducted on two brief versions of the full length VIA Survey (240 questions).  One brief version is 120 questions – the VIA 120.  It was developed by statistically choosing 5 questions from the original 10 questions per scale that had the highest item-scale correlations.  The other version – the VIA 72 – chose the best 3 questions of the original 10 questions from the full length Survey.

Internal consistency coefficients were calculated for each brief survey and compared with the internal consistency coefficients of the long form. The results averaged across all scales are as follows:

 VIA Survey

 Internal Consistency

 Long Form

 0.83 

 VIA -120

 0.79

 VIA-72   

 0.75

 

Initial validity coefficients were looked at with:

  • The VIA Survey long form

  • Activities Questions – 48 questions comprised of two exemplar activities for each character strength

  • Flourishing Scale (Diener et al., 2010)\

The results of initial validity testing averaged across all scales on a convenience sample of 301 adult subjects (75% female; 53% married; modal annual income $41,000 - $80,000) are as follows:

 VIA Survey 

 Long Form  

 Activities 

 Flourishing 

  Long Form 

  1.0

  0.55 

  0.43

  VIA-120

  0.93

  0.50

  0.39

  VIA-72 

  0.87

  0.48

  0.36

                
Further, multiple studies have shown that the following 5 character strengths have significant correlations with measures of life satisfaction: zest, curiosity, hope, love, gratitude.  Results from the above sample are as follows:

 VIA Survey 

 Zest   

 Curiosity 

 Hope 

 Love 

 Gratitude 

  Long form

 0.53

 0.36

 0.45

 0.39

 0.38

  VIA-120   

 0.57

 0.41

 0.47

 0.41

 0.44

  VIA-72

 0.54

 0.35

 0.48

 0.40

 0.42

 

The above evidence suggests to us that either of the brief versions are substantially equivalent to the original long version as to internal consistency reliability and validity measures described. 

We are offering both brief versions to researchers only in consideration of the fact that most studies involve multiple measures and that therefore some researchers may choose greater practicality for the relatively small  tradeoff in terms of psychometrics.  The VIA-120 is now offered as the standard VIA Survey – replacing the long form.

View psychometric data for the VIA Survey-240  
View 24 Character Strength Alphas for VIA Survey-240 (10-item survey)
View 24 Character Strengths Alphas for VIA Survey-72 (3-item survey)

24 Character Strength Alphas: VIA Survey-120 (5-item survey):

 Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence 

 0.85 

 Bravery

 0.80

 Creativity

 0.90

 Curiosity

 0.82

 Fairness

 0.71

 Forgiveness

 0.83

 Gratitude

 0.83

 Honesty

 0.75

 Hope

 0.76

 Humility

 0.77

 Humor

 0.85

 Judgment

 0.72

 Kindness

 0.71

 Leadership

 0.69

 Love

 0.77

 Love of Learning

 0.77

 Perseverance

 0.87

 Perspective

 0.78

 Prudence

 0.78

 Self -Regulation

 0.77

 Social Intelligence

 0.80

 Spirituality

 0.91

 Teamwork

 0.68

 Zest

 0.83

 

VIA Survey Factor Analyses

In the largest factor analysis of the VIA Survey to date, Robert E. McGrath (2013) conducted scale-level and item-level analyses of a sample of 458,998 adults. In the article, McGrath offered the following:

The scale-level analyses produced findings similar to those of previous studies, but raised concerns about multi- dimensionality in the scales. Item-level analyses suggested an alternate set of 24 scales, 20 of which overlapped substantially with existing VIA-IS scales. A second-order analysis suggested five factors, including a new one labeled Future Orientation, versus the original six virtues proposed in the development of the VIA-IS. The results were used to speculate about elements of a second-generation model of strengths.

 

References:

Diener, E., Wirtz, D., Tov, W., Kim-Prieto, C., Choi, D., Oishi, S., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2010). New well-being measures: Short scales to assess flourishing and positive and negative feelings. Social  Indicators Research, 97, 143–156.

McGrath, R. E. (2013). Scale- and item-level factor analysis of the VIA Inventory of Strengths. Assessment. DOI: 10.1177/1073191112450612

 View psychometric data for the VIA Youth Survey

Updated 7/17/2017

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