Introducing the 24 Character Strengths

Posted on 28. Aug, 2008 by in Articles, character strengths, positive psychology

Positive psychologists Chris Peterson and Martin Seligman have identified 24 strengths which can be seen as character traits. All of these strengths can be developed. A great deal of research has gone into looking into these strengths and how they can benefit happiness and wellbeing. Seligman suggests that we identify our signature strengths (our top strengths) and use these regularly in our lives. You can do this by visiting either the Authentic Happiness website or the VIA Institute on Character website and completing the VIA Signature Strengths questionnaire. Using your signature strengths will feel effortless as they are part of who you are.

Carrying out tasks and activities that provide you with opportunities to exercise your strengths are sure to make you feel good and give you more flow experiences. Consciously using these strengths will move you away from engaging in passive activities so frequently (eg watching television).

The 24 strengths have been divided into groups of six distinct virtues:

Wisdom and knowledge
Courage
Humanity
Justice
Temperance
Transcendence

I have written six separate articles, for easier viewing. Each article discusses the strengths belonging to that virtue and offers a tip to help you nurture that particular strength.

You may also like the infographic I have put together which provides an at a glance guide to all 24 strengths.

You can also read more about these strengths in Peterson and Seligman’s book: Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification.
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10 Responses to “Introducing the 24 Character Strengths”

  1. Daniel

    11. Feb, 2012

    Being a writer looking for character strengths, I found this extremely helpful. Thank you.

  2. Julia Barnard

    13. Feb, 2012

    Thanks Daniel. Glad to have been of help!

  3. Cate Hogan

    17. Feb, 2016

    Thank you for this great article! Setting up the story with intrigue and empathy is so important, something a lot of writers forget when they get swept up in the excitement of putting pen to paper. Here is an article I wrote called “Introducing a Character, Not a Bore” that I thought you might enjoy: http://catehogan.com/introducing_your_character/

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