This week’s Positive Psych Challenge, the class was instructed to follow this link .

Who doesn’t like to take quizzes that reveal aspects about your personality? So if you’re like me and do, click that link and sign up. Once registered (which takes two seconds), click on “I want to take the VIA Survey of Character (VIA-IS)” followed by checking off “I don’t have a code. I’m just here to take the survey“. And voilà. You’re all set to begin answering questions that will ultimately lead to finding out your top 5 character strengths.

Here are mine:

My Top Strength – Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith

You have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. You know where you fit in the larger scheme. Your beliefs shape your actions and are a source of comfort to you.

2nd – Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness

You are an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living your life in a genuine and authentic way. You are down to earth and without pretense; you are a “real” person.

3rd – Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness

Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.

4th – Caution, prudence, and discretion

You are a careful person, and your choices are consistently prudent ones. You do not say or do things that you might later regret.

5th – Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty

You excel as a member of a group. You are a loyal and dedicated teammate, you always do your share, and you work hard for the success of your group.

A second part to our assignment was to do a few of the suggested exercises corresponding with our top character strengths. These are outlined in our textbook and are intended to help use our strengths in a positive way. For example, for my top character strength it suggested that, every day, I think about the purpose of my life. For my second it was, when explaining my motives to someone, to do so in a genuine and honest way. For my third, it was to consider some strong-held opinion and think about how I might be wrong.

I tried these suggestions out and found them a great way to use my strengths in a positive way. It was also refreshing to have a new perspective on how my strengths could be used.

I found these character strengths to be true to me. Although, I could be experiencing a Barnum Effect. [HA! I just realized that I’m using my 3rd character strength and examining this from all possible sides.] So, what do you think? Are they true to me? What are your top strengths? Do you think they’re true to who you are?


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Tristan said,

    My favourite survey question: “Does hearing about great generosity give you the chills?” I ponder whether a favourable response indicates a generous person or someone who finds altruism chilling … or just someone prone to goosebumps.

    Other questions are quite curious as well, such as,
    “I cannot imagine lying or cheating” I’m not sure whether this question tests honesty or your power of imagination.
    “People are drawn to me because I am humble.” Would it be a self-defeating question (ie. prideful) if the I chose to answer, “Very much like me?”

    Did you have to do your Myer’s Brigg’s Typology Test? I feel MBTT is a bit more accurate than this VIA Survey.

    I got:
    1. Forgiveness/Mercy
    2. Creativity/Ingenuity/Originality
    3. Humour/Playfulness
    4. Spirituality/Purpose/Faith
    5. Kindness/Generosity

    I will trade you your “Judgement/Critical Thinking/Open Mindedness” for my “Creativity/Ingenuity/Originality.” I prefer yours :p

    • 2

      amandakait said,

      I had very similar questions while answering those items as well. It’s like “well, I feel as though I’m a modest person, but if I say I am, will it actually score me as being modest, or will it score me as being immodest?”

      Making questionnaires that are valid and actually measure what they intend to measure is always hard. Plus, don’t even get me started on self-report measures, haha.

      We actually NEVER talk about the Myers-Brigg. The only time that I have ever heard it mentioned within academics was when my professor was showing us the difference between measures that give results on a continuum (such as the Big Five personality traits), and measures that give results on a dichotomy such as the Myers-Briggs. With continuous, your results are given more in terms of percentages. For example, if you take the Big Five, it will not tell you that you are neurotic, extroverted, etc. What it will tell you, is that on the continuum of emotional stability, you tend to score higher on the neurotic side. The problem with dichotomous results is that you never know how high you scored on them and one changed answer could change your entire result. Take the Myers-Briggs for example, one change of answer and you could go from an ISTJ to an ISTP. Or if you were border lining all categories you could go from an ESTJ to an INFP if you answered differently to only a few questions. You could potentially go on your merry way thinking that you are a strong INFP, when really you also exhibit a lot of traits of an ESTJ. With continuous type results, you would be able to see how you scored on each factor.

      All this to say, I’m pretty sure the VIA Strength questionnaire results are on a dichotomy, haha. Basically, if you changed just one answer, your top strength can easily become second place. Ohhh research…

      If you are curious about the Big Five, you can take it here:

    • 3

      amandakait said,

      That was very long… And I wanted to mention something about your results!…

      I think they are true to you. Although, I believe that the Wings Night Tristan should have Humour/Playfulness as his top strength :P

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