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Strengths (Personality)

P. Alex Linley

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405161251.2009.x


The label personality strengths was adopted from a project of the same name, which set out to identify, name, define, and assess the several hundred strengths believed to exist, but which were not represented by existing strengths groupings or classifications. The project involves the natural observation of strengths from an ethological perspective, understanding strengths and their evolution in relation to explicit theoretical underpinnings, and reviewing existing literature and empirical evidence to inform the understanding of strengths that was developed through the work of the Personality Strengths Project. Personality researchers – albeit still with some dissenting voices – are now broadly agreed on the structure of personality but it has taken many decades of research for them to arrive at this point, whether that was through systematic observation and theory development (type theory), or lexical analysis of natural language (trait theory). Being much earlier in this process, strengths researchers are still in the early days of exploring how many strengths may exist, let alone how best to classify them most appropriately. Notwithstanding this, important advances have been made with the development of the Clifton StrengthsFinder from Gallup, and the development of the VIA Inventory of Strengths, developed by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman. The Clifton StrengthsFinder ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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