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Character Strengths and Virtues

Character is the family of positive traits, such as kindness and honesty, that are morally valued. They have emerged across cultures and throughout history as important for personal well-being and maintaining society viability. They are reflected in the range of an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They exist in degrees and can be measured as individual differences. Character is malleable across the lifespan and subject to numerous influences. Character is plural. Someone may be very kind or very courageous but lack other components of character.

Therefore, character must be measured in ways that do justice to its breadth. To convey the multidimensionality of character, its components are called character strengths. Virtues are the core characteristics valued by moral philosophers and religious thinkers in all traditions. They ...

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