VIA Assessments: SSS

Signature Strengths Survey (SSS): 

Aligned with the VIA Institute’s mission to continue to advance the science of character, and in recognizing a number of opportunities to improve the original scales, Dr. Robert McGrath, VIA Senior Scientist, has completed a substantial, 2-year 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 VIA Assessment Suite for Adults is available. See additional assessments on the VIA Assessments page.

The construct of signature strengths has become significant for practitioners and researchers alike.  Signature strengths are a subcategory of character strengths that play an important role in personal identity.  Convention has been to use the top 5 scores from the VIA-IS as a proxy measure of signature strengths.  Because of its importance, VIA has developed a more direct measure of signature strengths.  

The Signature Strengths Survey (SSS) directly measures signature strengths by having users identify those strengths “that are absolutely essential to you, that define who you are as a person, that are part of who you are.”  Users are subsequently asked to go through the selected strengths and narrow them down further to those that are more important than the others by endorsing the most essential strengths a second time.  Mean validity correlation with behavioral criteria is .34.  This measure can be used to directly assess signature strengths and can be completed quite quickly. There is no rank ordering.  Scores are dichotomous (nominal data): signature strength or not. Although this is considered the “gold standard” for identifying signature strengths, it is limited with regards to applying statistical analyses compared to dimensional measures. 

The SSS is available without registration or approval requirements and can be directly downloaded and printed here. Registration is needed if you want to collect data on the VIA site. 

SSS Psychometrics

Psychometrics not available at this time. Please check back. 


SSS Citation 

McGrath, R. E. (2017). Technical report: The VIA Assessment Suite for Adults: Development and evaluation. Cincinnati, OH: VIA Institute on Character.


SSS Languages 

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