Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification, Volume 1
American Psychological Association, 2004 - Psychology - 800 pages
"Character" has become a front-and-center topic in contemporary discourse, but this term does not have a fixed meaning. Character may be simply defined by what someone does not do, but a more active and thorough definition is necessary, one that addresses certain vital questions. Is character a singular characteristic of an individual, or is it composed of different aspects? Does character--however we define it--exist in degrees, or is it simply something one happens to have? How can character be developed? Can it be learned? Relatedly, can it be taught, and who might be the most effective teacher? What roles are played by family, schools, the media, religion, and the larger culture? This groundbreaking handbook of character strengths and virtues is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits. They approach good character in terms of separate strengths-authenticity, persistence, kindness, gratitude, hope, humor, and so on-each of which exists in degrees.
Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Each strength is thoroughly examined in its own chapter, with special attention to its meaning, explanation, measurement, causes, correlates, consequences, and development across the life span, as well as to strategies for its deliberate cultivation. This book demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach about the good life.
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As my positive psychology master mind group agrees, this is a provocative, valuable compendium of human strengths and virtues across time and space. The depth, breadth, and width of the discussions of everything from wisdom and love to persistence and humor offer new perspectives and opportunities to live a live of more meaning and lasting joy with intention. Frankly, I love it when two brilliant psychologists can write something that is both erudite and accessible, and always inspiring!
1 INTRODUCTION TO A MANUAL OF THE VANITIES
2 UNIVERSAL VIRTUES? LESSONS FROM HISTORY
3 PREVIOUS CLASSIFICATIONS OF CHARACTER STRENGTHS
STRENGTHS OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE
Interest NoveltySeeking Openness to Experience
Judgment Critical Thinking
7 LOVE OF LEARNING
Social Responsibility Loyalty Teamwork
STRENGTHS OF TEMPERANCE
19 FORGIVENESS AND MERCY
20 HUMILITY AND MODESTY
STRENGTHS OF COURAGE
Zest Enthusiasm Vigor Energy
STRENGTHS OF HUMANITY
Generosity Nurturance Care Compassion Altruistic Love Niceness
Emotional Intelligence Personal Intelligence
STRENGTHS OF JUSTICE