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Frequently Asked Questions
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- Customer Service
- How do I complete my survey that I already started?
If you are interrupted or lose your connection simply log back in to the VIA website. All answers from completed survey pages will be saved and you can resume the survey.
- Why do I have to provide my email address to take the free survey?
We ask for email address so you can stop and restart the VIA Survey at anytime. If you sign out of the survey or close the browser window, you can use your email address to sign back in to your account to resume the survey. Once you complete the survey, you can always access your free Character Strengths Profile by signing in to your account. We do not share our email lists.
- Is the information I share in my survey secure?
- Can I retake the survey?
We recommend that the VIA Survey be taken every couple of years as life experiences can change your strengths ranking. To retake the survey, click Sign In to log into your account and click on the Retake Survey button. If one does not appear, click on Take Survey.
- How do I Reset my Password?
To reset your password, please click on the Forgot my Password link on the Sign In page. You will receive an email with instructions on resetting your password. Be sure to check your Junk folder for this email. You can also contact Customer Service to make your request. If you are logged into your account and wish to change your password, click on Account Settings.
- How do I change my email?
You can change your email address under Accounts Settings which is found under My Account or Personal Account.
- How do I delete my account?
To delete your account click on either My Account or Personal Account. Then click on Account Settings/Update Preferences.
- How will I receive my report?
Each of VIA’s in-depth reports are available as a PDF download immediately after purchase and can be accessed through your secure VIA account at any time.
- How do I purchase and access a VIA Youth Report for my child, student(s) or children I’m working with?
The VIA Youth Report is based on a child’s results from the free, research-validated VIA Youth Survey (for ages 8-17), which identifies their unique profile of character strengths. The survey is 98 questions if taken in English or 96 questions in any other language and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The VIA Youth Survey must be completed before the VIA Youth Report can be generated.
For your own child(ren): Log into your personal VIA account and click on Take Free Survey and choose Youth Survey. Have your child complete the Youth Survey. Upon completion, click on Youth Survey Results to download Youth Report and view free Character Strengths Profile. If you have additional children they may also take the survey through your account.
If you are working with a group of children or students, learn how to set-up a Pro Site to allow multiple children to take the survey simultaneously, collect survey results and download multiple reports here.
- Can I purchase a course for multiple individuals in my organization?
Yes, and we offer bulk discount pricing when purchasing multiple courses. Please contact us at email@example.com with course name and quantity for more information.
- What if I’m not satisfied with my purchase?
We feel confident you will find VIA products valuable, but if you are not satisfied with your purchase, you may request a refund. Refunds are issued based on product purchased. See our Refund Policy for details. Terms of Service
- VIA Survey and In-Depth Reports
- What is the VIA Survey?
The VIA Survey (also referred to as the VIA Inventory of Strengths, VIA-IS) was developed by renowned psychologist, Christopher Peterson, Ph.D., and recently revised by Robert McGrath, Ph.D., VIA’s Senior Scientist. It is a 96-question, scientifically validated, questionnaire that provides a rank order of an adult’s 24 character strengths. It is the only online, free, scientific assessment of character strengths in the world. The survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and a descriptive Character Strengths Profile and in-depth reports are available upon completion.
- Who should take the VIA Survey?
Anyone interested in learning more about what is best about themselves should take the VIA Survey. There are VIA Surveys for youth and adults. The VIA Survey for adults is available in over 40 languages.
- How long will it take me to complete the VIA Survey?
The VIA Survey for adults takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. As long as you have a registered account, you can stop taking the survey part-way through and your responses will be saved. You can then log back in to complete the survey.
- How many people have taken the VIA Survey?
The VIA Survey has been taken by over 25 million people reaching every country around the globe.
- What do I receive after completing the free VIA Survey?
You will receive a free rank order listing of your 24 character strengths known as your Character Strengths Profile. You can also choose to upgrade your results and purchase one of our in-depth reports. Learn more about these Reports here.
- Are there benefits to exercising character strengths?
Research is continuing to accumulate each year around the benefits of character strengths use. In general, character strengths seem to assist in reducing the likelihood of distress and dysfunction while encouraging tangible outcomes like:
- Greater happiness
- Acceptance of oneself
- Reverence for life
- Competence, mastery, efficacy
- Mental and physical health
- Positive and supportive social networks
- Satisfying, engaging, and meaningful work
- Accomplishment of goals
- Greater engagement and life meaning
- Higher work productivity
- Increased likelihood of work being a life calling
- Less stress and improved coping
- Greater academic achievement
- Improved close relationships
- Will my Character Strengths Profile (survey results) change over time?
First, one must look at the raw scores for each strength (these are given in the VIA reports such as the Total 24 or the Top 5, but do not appear in the free Character Strengths Profile). This is ultimately what helps to determine if there is even a change (e.g., therse might be ties among the #5 strengths or minimal differences in scores, e.g., a .2 difference between the #5, 6, and 7 strengths). A couple of these phenomena and the rank-order results can appear different.
Knowing that, practitioners helping others should also know that the VIA Survey has good reliability which means it is repeatable over time – individuals are likely to receive similar results. The general idea is that people will receive consistent responses over time because this gets at the core of who we are – whether we are stressed, in the midst of turmoil, at our best, feeling down, etc. Now, that’s not to say that if you grow significantly in your self-understanding that your strengths will not change. But, it won’t be changes such as your top 5 become your bottom 5 and vice versa. Any time a new strength pops into the top 5 that should be treated with curiosity and attempts should be made to understand what in one’s life or one’s self-view might account for that shift. It is important to look at the general grouping of the strengths ranking and the raw scores. Strengths within groupings may shuffle around a bit, for example, your top 10 strengths might have a few strengths switch places in the top 10.
- What's the difference between a VIA Character Strengths Profile and In-depth Reports?
The free VIA Survey helps you understand your character makeup. It provides a list of your character strengths in rank order from strongest strengths to lesser strengths known as your Character Strengths Profile. A report is a deeper, richer, review of your unique strengths constellation and how you can apply your strengths to live a more fulfilling life.
- How much do the VIA Reports cost?
Your Character Strengths Report is a free ranked order of character strengths available immediately after taking the VIA Survey. The VIA Reports, more detailed and personalized are priced here.
- Understanding Key Terms
- What Is Character?
The topic of character has been of longstanding interest to philosophers, educators, political leaders, religious leaders, and the general public. Until recently, the study of character had not undergone rigorous scientific efforts thus was relegated to the experiences and programming of character educators, personal opinions of experts, and commentary by self-help gurus.
The word “character” conjures up a number of meanings for people such as one’s reputation (“his character is being attacked), one’s level of morality (“she’s a woman of good character”), or pigeonholing character into one construct such as honesty or integrity (“he's very honest so is a person of strong character”). People tend to think of character as something permanent and unchanging in people. This is further complicated by traditional views of character that widely manifest today – as championed by many character education programs found in schools, religious groups, athletic programs, etc. – that identify a small number of positive traits (e.g. usually four to seven) and claim that this grouping of qualities represents “good character.” Typically, these programs and organizations then train people to build up this select number of traits. Common character education focus areas in these programs include responsibility, respect, kindness, honesty, fairness, teamwork, persistence, and courage.
What is often missing from these views of character is akin to the actual meaning of the word. The word “character” refers to those qualities that are distinctive to the individual.
In the early 2000s, scientists began to bring character to the laboratory to study it. A 3-year project involving 55 distinguished scientists devoted to studying character traits throughout time was launched. This resulted in the VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues (Peterson & Seligman, 2004), a classification of positive traits in human beings. Since then, hundreds of peer-reviewed articles have been published across many cultures. One of the key findings about character is that each human being has a constellation of character traits (character strengths) that make him or her distinct or unique. Character strengths cannot be boiled down to one trait or a handful of traits; in addition character strengths are idiosyncratic and expressed in degrees and combinations based on the context one is in. Said in another way: character is plural.
Click here for a library of research articles on character.
- What are character strengths?
Character strengths are positive traits - capacities humans have for thinking, feeling, and behaving in ways that benefit oneself and others. Specifically, they are the psychological ingredients for displaying virtues or human goodness. VIA views each person as having a capacity for expressing any of the 24 character strengths in the VIA Classification. Some strengths are easier and more natural for the individual to express (e.g., signature strengths), other strengths arise in particular situations where they are needed (phasic strengths), and other strengths are expressed to a lesser degree or lesser frequency (lesser strengths).
- Character strengths have individual differences. Each is distinct from one another.
- Character strengths are plural, meaning they interact and influence each other.
- Character strengths are generally stable, but they can change over time.
- Character strengths are shaped by context. They do not operate in isolation from settings, proximal and distal, in which people are found. Character strengths are within people and people are within settings. Settings cannot fall to the background when focusing on character strengths.
- What is a signature strength?
A convention in positive psychology is to consider the top 5 strengths on the VIA Survey to be “signature strengths.” Research has revealed that some people have less than 5 and a large number of people have more than 5 signature strengths. The most important criterion in considering whether a character strength is signature, or not, is whether the strength is essential and “core” to who the person is. Additional characteristics of signature strengths include:
- Sense of ownership and authenticity; “this is the real me”
- Consistent, wide use across life domains and situations
- Feeling of excitement while displaying it, particularly at first
- Easy and natural to use - a rapid learning curve
- Continuous learning of new ways to enact the strength
- A yearning to act in accordance with the strength
- A feeling of inevitability in using the strength, as if one cannot be stopped
- Feeling energized, rather than exhausted in using it
- A creation and pursuit of fundamental projects that revolve around it
- Intrinsic motivation to use the strength
- What is a lesser strength?
A lesser strength is a character strength that appears at the bottom of your strengths profile. These are not viewed as weaknesses, rather as strengths that are either underdeveloped, unrealized, not as valued as other strengths, or, at the least, less used compared to other strengths in the profile.
- What is Positive Psychology?
Positive psychology has been defined in several ways over the years from being viewed as the science of well-being, the science of what is going right with people, the science behind what makes life worth living, and so forth. The original definition, as described by Martin Seligman during his Presidential year of the American Psychological Association in 1998, is that positive psychology is the scientific study of:
- Positive subjective experience (positive emotions)
- Positive individual traits (positive character)
- Institutions that enable positive experiences and positive traits (positive institutions)
- Positive social relationships (added in 2007)
- Positive accomplishment/achievement (added in 2007)
Positive Psychology is studied and applied across professions (e.g., business, education, counseling, coaching, etc.) and in all the domains of life. For example:
- Self (Personal & Internal)
- Home and Family
- Work & School
- Social Relationships & Community
- What are Virtues?
Virtues are core characteristics valued by moral philosophers and religious thinkers. The VIA work-groups found six virtues that emerged consistently from historical surveys, and endorsed across time and cultures. These virtues are wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Cross-cultural research has found that these are universal and viewed as being grounded in biology through evolutionary process and selected for aspects of excellence as a means of solving important tasks necessary for survival of the species.
- What does the strength of Spirituality refer to?
The character strength of Spirituality is about connecting outside of oneself (or in a deeper, more profound way within oneself). Many describe it as self-transcendence – feeling a personal relationship with something such as Nature, a higher power, God, energy/force, or all of life (all sentient beings), to name just a few examples. Religion, ritual, etc. is one example of this larger strength as this strength is not limited to or by religion. Scientists have studied this widely and noted that while religion relates more closely to institutional rituals, dogma, and prescribed beliefs, spirituality involves searching for or connecting with the sacred which is distinct from religiousness. Modern neuroscience shows this in our genetics and hard wiring this distinction as well. That said, some religious people are spiritual, many are not. Many people are spiritual but not religious. And so on.
- VIA's History and Work
- What is the VIA Institute and how did it come about?
Dr. Seligman and others, including Neal Mayerson, Ph.D., Chairman of the Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation, quickly recognized the need for agreed-upon definitions of the “positive individual traits” to be studied by Positive Psychology and that are involved in the multiple dimensions of well-being. Dr. Mayerson supported this vital step, founding the Values in Action Institute as a foundation initiative. In 2007, the institute’s name was shortened to the VIA Institute on Character.
- How was the VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues developed? What are the 6 virtues and what are the 24 character strengths?
Led by Christopher Peterson, Ph.D., and Martin Seligman, Ph.D., and funded by the Mayerson Foundation, a team of 55 social scientists studied world religions, philosophies and psychology looking for agreed-upon virtues. Examples of classic works studied included:
- Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judeo-Christian traditions.
- Virtue catalogs, including those by Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Lao-Tze, Boy Scouts of America, William Bennett, Benjamin Franklin, King Charlemagne, and Merlin.
- The work of psychologists including Thorndike, Erikson, Maslow, Greenberger, Jahoda, Ryff, Thurstone, Cawley, Gardner. Dr. Peterson was the lead scientist of the development of the VIA Classification, which is described in detail in Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification (Oxford University Press and American Psychological Association, 2004).
- What criteria were met in identifying the character strengths?
Each of the 24 VIA Character Strengths meets all or nearly all of the following:
- Is ubiquitous, found across cultures and time.
- Is fulfilling.
- Is morally valued in its own right, even in the absence of obvious beneficial outcomes.
- Does not diminish others.
- Has an undesirable opposite (e.g., for curiosity, this would be disinterest).
- Is trait-like, meaning it manifests in a range of behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. It is general enough to cross situations & is stable over time.
- Is measurable.
- Is distinct from other positive traits in the classification.
- Has consensual paragons (exemplars).
- Has prodigies.
- Is non-existent in certain individuals within situations.
- Has cultural rituals for cultivating and sustaining them.
- Professionals Using the VIA Resources with Others
- What are VIA Pro Sites?
VIA Pro Sites allow you to create a unique link to the VIA Survey or VIA Youth Survey (or both) so you can use the surveys with your clients and have their Character Strengths Profile immediately added to your VIA account. If you are using the VIA Youth Survey with youth under 13, you can create an VIA Youth Survey ONLY site to bypass the registration prompts. Learn more and set-up your own VIA Pro Site for free here.
- As a professional, why would I choose to use VIA character strengths in my work?
The basis for many professions, such as typical psychology training programs, is not focused on strength and building up what is strong in individuals, rather the focus is exclusively or strongly tilted toward problems, psychopathology, and what is wrong with individuals. When this is combined with research showing that “bad is stronger than good” and that the human brain is “wired for the negative” readily picking up on problems and weaknesses, there is a significant need to correct this bias with a counter-balance or a different approach. A strengths perspective helps the professional to “see” more of the person they are treating, guiding, or mentoring; it offers the professional a more complete picture that is simultaneously energizing for both the practitioner and client. Such an approach does not negate or avoid problems, rather it offers a different “lens” for seeing them.
- Does VIA offer certification?
The short answer is “no.” VIA has put forth this work for the world, thus does not wish to impose a restriction that only certain people can use it. VIA has found that those individuals who attend our workshops or presentations on applying this work benefit greatly and begin to understand a depth to this work that is not immediately apparent to many individuals. To learn more about our online courses, click here. There are currently no certifications that we offer on the work with VIA character strengths. Individuals who complete our courses receive a “certificate of completion,” however, it is not a certification. VIA is currently in discussion about creating a course that would certify practitioners’ knowledge in understanding and applying VIA character strengths.
- Where can I get additional help using the VIA in various settings?
In perusing the VIA website, please be sure to look under our Resources, Topics and Courses tabs. Under our Professional Tab you will find many items geared to working with Adults and or Youth.
- Who do I contact for permissions to reprint the VIA Classification in my work?
The VIA Classification, VIA Survey, and VIA’s other intellectual property are copyrighted material and do require permission to reprint. Contact Customer Service, and provide a detailed description of your project and what you are interested in reprinting.
- Who do I contact if I want to collaborate with the VIA Institute in some way?
It is important to be clear with what you have in mind, as each individual has a unique picture as to what they are hoping for with a collaboration. We want to ensure that good fitting ideas are not lost in the shuffle. Here are some examples you can review to see where you might best fit:
- The person is interested in conducting their own research. e.g., they want to give the VIA Survey to their employees, clients, etc. and want to study them as a group, and collate/aggregate the data. Or, the person wants to conduct other research for their dissertation, master’s thesis, or some other work project. VIA’s response to any requests under this point: That is great! Please create a Research Site. Additional information can be found in the Reasearch FAQ below. Queries relating to this can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The person is looking for grant dollars to support a project relating to character strengths and/or positive psychology. This is a fair question, however, VIA is a non-profit organization and does not give out grants through an application process or call for proposals.
- The person is interested in VIA giving a presentation or consultation to their group/institution or co-authoring something with VIA. Please review our Webinar/Workshop page and click on Contact Us to provide detailed information.
- The person has some specific ideas in mind for some other collaboration with VIA, and the project is of mutual benefit, does not involve grants, and it supports or extends VIA’s mission to educate the world about character strengths. The person should write out what their “ideal” collaboration would look like, speculate on potential roles, time involvement, and the intended benefit to themselves (their group), to VIA, and to the public and send to email@example.com.
- Using VIA Assessments in Research Studies
- Where can I find information on the development and validation of the VIA Assessments?
A complete Technical Report for the VIA Assessment Suite is available here.
- What are the different options for administering a VIA assessment with my research participants?
Collect data through VIA website: This is the advised method for collecting data. You will create a unique link to the VIA assessment of your choice and send the link to your research participants. Participants will complete the assessment and our system will score it and add the data to your Researcher Account. The results will be securely saved in your Researcher Account for 1 year. Please note that collecting data through the VIA website does not allow you to add any additional measures or questionnaires.
Offline paper/pencil method: Download a copy of the VIA assessment questions to administer and score in hard copy form (paper/pencil). This method will allow you to add your own additional measures or questionnaires if needed. *Note: The VIA assessment questions and scoring key cannot be used or distributed outside of this research project or published at any time.
Collect data through another website: Download a copy of the VIA assessment questions to use within Qualtrics or another secure, research-based website. This method will allow you to add your own additional measures or questionnaires if needed. *Note: The VIA assessment questions and scoring key cannot be used or distributed outside of this research project or published at any time.
- Do I need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to use VIA assessments in my research studies?
As the researcher, it is your responsibility to get the proper approvals for your study. VIA does not monitor or ask to see proof of IRB approval for research studies using the VIA assessments.
- Can I use a strength subset of the VIA survey for my research?
We encourage users of the test to administer the entire instrument when possible. There are several reasons for this. It can simplify setting the study up by allowing participants to complete the inventory through the VIA website, which is only set up to administer the entire instrument. Also, it is necessary to administer the entire survey if one of the goals is to identify signature strengths. Finally, there is no validity research looking at the scales except in the context of completion of the full inventory. That said, we recognize practical constraints can make administration of the entire instrument prohibitive. We ask that in your research request you indicate which scales you will be administering if you do not plan to administer the entire inventory, and also note this in your final research results.
- Can I get a copy of the VIA assessment questions and scoring key?
Yes, after creating a Researcher Account and agreeing to the Research Terms & Conditions you can download an Excel file that includes the assessment questions, item response options (when applicable), and scoring key (when applicable).
- How do I score the VIA Assessments?
VIA-IS-R: This assessment is the most extensive of the revised scales, consisting of 192 items that were selected based on content validity, reading level, internal consistency reliability, and differential correlation with other scales. To counteract acquiescence bias, both positively and negatively keyed items are included. Twenty-four scale scores are reported, as are 9 virtue scales and signature strengths. To score, calculate the mean for each character strength scale from 1-5. List the means in rank order from highest to lowest score. Twenty-four scale scores are reported as are 9 virtue scales and signature strengths.
VIA-IS-M: This assessment is a briefer version of the VIA-IS-R, consisting of 96 items (4 items for each strength scale) selected on the basis of corrected item-total correlations to maximize internal consistency while including both positively and negatively keyed items to control for acquiescence bias. To score, calculate the mean for each character strength scale from 1-5. List the means in rank order from highest to lowest score. Twenty-four scale scores are reported as are 9 virtue scales and signature strengths.
VIA-IS-P: This assessment was developed using the same strategy as the VIA-IS-M except only VIA-IS-R items keyed in the positive direction were eligible for inclusion. This version is for use when negatively keyed items may be a source of confusion for the test-taker. Again, 24 strengths scale scores are reported as are 9 virtue scales and signature strengths. To score, calculate the mean for each character strength scale from 1-5. List the means in rank order from highest to lowest score. Twenty-four scale scores are reported as are 9 virtue scales and signature strengths.
VIA 103 (8-12), VIA 103 (13-17), VIA 240, VIA 120, VIA 72, Youth-96, Youth-198: Calculate the mean for each character strength scale from 1-5. List the means in rank order from highest to lowest score. *Note: VIA 103, available in English only. *Note: VIA 103, VIA Youth-198 has reverse-scored items. *Note: VIA used a complex computer algorithm to break tied scores for signature strengths at the time these instruments were developed. We do not release the algorithm for assessment administration off the VIA website.
VIA-IS-V6: This survey consists of 48 items (8 per virtue), positively and negatively keyed, resulting in scores for the 6 virtues that were developed with the original VIA Classification. Items were selected based on their corrected item-total correlations. Mean reliability is .80. These are the same items used in the scoring of the 6 virtues when the VIA-IS-R is administered. Virtue Scales can also be derived from the VIA-IS-R, VIA-IS-M and the VIA-IS-P. See Technical Report, p. 15-17 and p. 44 for details.
VIA-IS-V3: This survey consists of 24 items (8 items per virtue), positively and negatively keyed, resulting in scores for the 3 virtues developed subsequently for the VIA Classification. Mean reliability is .82. These are the same items used in the scoring of the 3 virtues when the VIA-IS-R is administered. Virtue Scales can also be derived from the VIA-IS-R, VIA-IS-M and the VIA-IS-P. See Technical Report, pp. 15-17 and p. 44 for details.
Global Assessment of Character Strengths (GACS-72, GACS-24): The Global Assessment of Character Strengths-72 (GACS-72) is a way to measure each strength in terms of its similarity to a signature strength. It asks respondents to rate each strength on 3 central criteria for defining signature strengths: how essential it is to identity, how natural and effortless it is to express, and how energizing it is when being expressed. The result is 24 strength scores on a 1-7 scale. Mean reliability is .85, mean correlation with behavioral criteria is .45, and the mean correlation with the VIA-IS-R is .62. The Global Assessment of Character Strengths-24 (GACS-24) is a single-item measurement for each of the strengths, using the natural and effortless items from the GACS-72. Mean correlation with the VIA-IS-R is .61 and with behavioral criteria is .43, and its average internal consistency reliability (estimated using communalities) is .78.
Signature Strengths Survey (SSS): 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.
Overuse, Underuse, Optimal Use of Character Strengths (OUOU): The OUOU user gives 3 percentages for each of the 24 character strengths on overuse, underuse, and optimal use for their typical day (the 3 percentages, taken together for each strength, must total 100%). Each character strength is treated as an independent item, which leads to 72 variables for the OUOU. These are treated as stand-alone variables in further analyses. For example, in examining creativity with depression, one would get three correlations, between depression and each type of use of creativity (overuse, underuse, optimal use). General overuse/underuse/optimal use is calculated by treating each type of use as a subscale. For example, general underuse is calculated by averaging the 24 underuses.
Partner Strengths Questionnaire (PSQ): The PSQ is completed by an individual about their partner’s character strengths. They select 3 strengths to answer 10 questions about, one of this is a write-in situational example for each chosen strength. Questions focus on recognition and appreciation of one’s partner’s character strengths, as well as the perceived “costs” of those strengths. Composites for strength use, strength effectiveness, strength appreciation, and strength costs are calculated.
Character Strengths Inventory for Children (CSI- C): The CSI-C is a self-report measure, completed by the youth aged 7-12. It offers rank-order results and raw scores of the 24 character strengths. The rank order is calculated by gathering averages of each of the 4 sets of items for each character strength.
Character Strengths Inventory for Early Childhood (CSI-EC): Informant-report measure, completed by the parent (of the child aged 3-6). Offers rank-order results and raw scores of the 24 character strengths. The rank order is calculated by gathering averages of each of the 4 sets of items for each character strength.
- What should I do about tied scores?
For the VIA-IS-R, VIA-IS-M and VIA-IS-P an algorithm is used to break tied scores. In this algorithm, choices between ties are decided on the basis of which strength more frequently emerges as a signature strength on the SSS. For example, if an individual generates a tie between Learning and Prudence, Learning will be given precedence in the identification of that individual’s signature strengths, since results from the SSS indicated this is a substantially more frequent signature strength. The new algorithm essentially uses the SSS as the gold standard, and maximizes the prediction of SSS results from the VIA-IS-R. This algorithm is also available for the VIA-IS-M and VIA-IS-P scales. See Table 6 from the Technical Report for Percentages of Strength Endorsement as Signature by the SSS.
- Can I translate a VIA assessment into another language?
Please see a list of available translations by clicking on the assessment name here. If you would like to translate a VIA assessment into a language that is not currently available, please contact us here.
- What is the process for translating a VIA Assessment?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your request to translate.
- I want to administer a VIA assessment to my therapy patients, students, or clients to help them identify their strengths. Is the researcher site the right way to do this?
No. Researcher Sites are intended for researchers collecting data from participants for a research study. If you are interested in using VIA assessments with your clients, students, or in any other professional context, please go to our VIA Professional Site, where you will find instructions on setting up the right assessment for your clients.
- What results or reports do my research participants receive?
For the following surveys: VIA-IS-R, VIA-IS-P, VIA-IS-M, VIA-240, VIA-120, VIA-72, Youth 103 (812), Youth 103 (13-17), Youth-96, Youth-198 When setting up your Researcher Account, you can choose to show research participants their rank order results after survey completion for these assessments. In-depth reports are available for purchase after completing the VIA-IS-P only.
GACS-24, GACS-72 No results are presented to the participant
SSS No results are presented to the participant
OUOU No results are presented to the participant
PSQ No results are presented to the participant
- Can I buy in-depth VIA Reports through my Researcher Account?
No. Researcher Sites are intended for researchers collecting data from participants for a research study. If you are interested in using VIA assessments and getting in-depth Reports for your clients, students, or in any other professional context, please go to our VIA Professional Site, where you will find instructions on setting up the right assessment for your clients.
- I am trying to submit a research request to administer a VIA survey using the VIA website, but I am confused. What are the instructions to submit this request?
- Register or sign in to your main VIA account to set-up a Researcher Account here.
- Click the yellow button "Get Started Now"
- Complete the form. On the 4th question where it says “How you plan to administer or use the VIA assessments” please select the first option, “collect data through the VIA website”
- Complete the consent for on the next page
- On the submission form completed page, please click the blue button that says “create research account”
- Enter your information and select the options you would like for your study
- You will be taken to your own page with a unique link that you can use to send the study to your participants.
- You will be able to access the data through your account.
- I am trying to submit a research request to administer a VIA survey offline or using paper/pencil, but I am confused. What are the instructions to submit this request?
- Register or sign in to your main VIA Account to set-up a Researcher Account here.
- Click the yellow button "Get Started Now"
- Complete the form. On the 4th question where it says “How you plan to administer or use the VIA assessments” please select the correct option (either “Collect data through another website” or “Offline paper/pencil”)
- Complete the consent form on the next page
- After setting up your research site you will be able to download the survey and scoring key from your account.
- I have created a researcher site to collect VIA data through the VIA site, but now I can’t find my study and my data! What do I do?
Please log into your VIA account here, and enter your email and password. Then click on the down arrow next to “Personal Account” in the top right corner, and choose “Researcher Account.” You will find your Research link and can view your participants’ survey results.
- Where can I learn more about the reliability and validity of the VIA Assessments?
You can learn more about the reliability and validity of the VIA Assessments by reviewing the Technical Report here.
- Where can I find psychometric data pertaining to each VIA assessment?
- What is the proper terminology for the VIA Survey and the 24 VIA character strengths?
To see a full list of proper terminology related to the VIA Survey and the 24 VIA character strengths click here.
- Where can I find prior research literature on the VIA character strengths?
You can find summaries and citations of over 700 character strengths research studies here.