Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification

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Oxford University Press, Mar 11, 2004 - Reference - 816 pages
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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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Contents

1 INTRODUCTION TO A MANUAL OF THE VANITIES
3
2 UNIVERSAL VIRTUES? LESSONS FROM HISTORY
33
3 PREVIOUS CLASSIFICATIONS OF CHARACTER STRENGTHS
53
STRENGTHS OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE
93
Originality Ingenuity
109
Interest NoveltySeeking Openness to Experience
125
Judgment Critical Thinking
143
7 LOVE OF LEARNING
161
Social Responsibility Loyalty Teamwork
369
17 FAIRNESS
391
18 LEADERSHIP
413
STRENGTHS OF TEMPERANCE
429
19 FORGIVENESS AND MERCY
445
20 HUMILITY AND MODESTY
461
21 PRUDENCE
477
SelfControl
499

Wisdom
181
STRENGTHS OF COURAGE
197
Valor
213
Perseverance Industriousness
229
Authenticity Honesty
249
Zest Enthusiasm Vigor Energy
273
STRENGTHS OF HUMANITY
291
13 LOVE
303
Generosity Nurturance Care Compassion Altruistic Love Niceness
325
Emotional Intelligence Personal Intelligence
337
STRENGTHS OF JUSTICE
355
STRENGTHS OF TRANSCENDENCE
517
Awe Wonder Elevation
537
24 GRATITUDE
553
Optimism FutureMindedness Future Orientation
569
Playfulness
583
Religiousness Faith Purpose
599
28 ASSESSMENT AND APPLICATIONS
625
REFERENCES
645
INDEX OF NAMES
763
SUBJECT INDEX
789
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