File Name: peterson and seligman character strengths and virtues .zip
Building positive organizational performance and contributing to the creation of a better planet requires having global leaders with positive qualities in senior positions in these organizations.
This chapter provides an overview of character strengths and mindfulness. Character strengths are specific psychological processes that define broader virtues, which are core characteristics that have been identified and valued by moral philosophers and religious thinkers throughout time. The chapter focuses on the contributions of the VIA Inventory of Strengths to research and assessment in character strengths, and the application of this framework to further strengths-based approaches to disability.
Mindfulness has been described not only as a practice, but also as a state, a trait, a process, and an outcome. The chapter examines research, practice, and the application of mindfulness to disability contexts. A discussion of areas of connectivity between character strengths and mindfulness and a look at future directions for research and practice in character strengths and mindfulness in disability conclude the chapter.
Keywords: Character strengths , mindfulness , VIA Inventory of Strengths , meditation , assessment , positive mindfulness. This chapter will provide an overview of character strengths and mindfulness, providing information about key concepts, research, and interventions in each area, as well as the work being done on the integration of these constructs. We will also explore the relationship of character strengths and mindfulness practices in the field of positive psychology, especially as an emerging application for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
While researchers and scholars have discussed the role of character in the lives of children, youth, and adults throughout history, it was not until the early s that researchers began to focus on operationalizing frameworks to define, assess, and build on character strengths in a systematic way.
This focus emerged as the field of positive psychology was defined and grew into its own subdiscipline within psychology. The VIA Classification of Strengths defines 24 character strengths that are organized into six overarching virtues, as outlined and defined in Table 1.
Assessment and intervention approaches linked to these six virtues and 24 character strengths have been developed, as will be described in the sections herein. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Both are self-report measures of the 24 character strengths and six virtues described in Table 1.
Each tool was designed to be a self-report measure, enabling youth and adults to report on the degree to which they embody the characteristics, given the acknowledged importance and value of self-perceptions of strengths in informing character strength assessment and interventions.
The initial version of the VIA-Youth included items, but a short form with 96 items was also validated. The items for the short form were selected by identifying the four most psychologically robust items for each character strength, and reliability values were similar for the short and long forms.
Subsequent research has found strong correlations between scores on the short and the long forms VIA Institute on Character, n. Additionally, researchers have found that the VIA-Youth differs from other assessments of positive psychological constructs e. For example, a widely researched strategy in the positive psychology and character strengths literature involves engaging people in using their signature strengths in a new way each day for one week. The purpose is to promote greater knowledge and use of character strengths.
For example, Rust et al. In addition to targeting signature strengths, researchers have also developed interventions to focus on specific character strengths. This can be particularly useful in specific contexts, such as schools or community programs. Other character strengths that have been targeted include increasing humor and gratitude by asking people to report three funny things that happen each day, or three things they are grateful for each day Gander et al.
Instead of just focusing on character strengths in yourself, other interventions focus on spotting strengths in others as well as yourself to build greater awareness of the use of character strengths.
Strengths-spotting occurs on two levels—oneself and others—and involves the labeling of the character strength s observed, and the offering of a rationale or evidence for how each strength was expressed Niemiec, a. This can be used to create additional instructional opportunities related to strengths, particularly for children, youth, and adults who are not familiar with character strengths or who have just completed character strengths assessment.
In the first phase Aware , practitioners begin to support the person to develop an awareness of character strengths. The next phase Explore involves supporting the person to recognize a connection between character strengths, previous experiences, and outcomes.
The goal is that the person gains an understanding of how they use their character strengths in everyday life, and how this positively affects them. Finally, the third phase Apply involves supporting the person to begin to set goals to use their character strengths in ways that enable them to take action. Character strengths have been found to predict academic achievement and social skills Macdonald et al. And, researchers have found specific patterns of relationships between selected character strengths and outcomes that can be used to target character strengths in different contexts.
For example, researchers have found that academic achievement is predicted by temperance and perseverance. Overall, promoting character strengths has the potential to improve health and wellness outcomes as well as context-specific outcomes, such as academic achievement and engagement for children, youth, and adults. At the most basic level, mindfulness is about personal transformation, the inner journey that enhances our understanding of who we are and how we respond to the vicissitudes of life.
It liberates us from the baggage of yesterday and the illusions of tomorrow, and non-judgmentally places our attention and awareness in the present moment. The term mindfulness has been defined in many ways, depending on the source and context of the definition.
Thus, during meditation, mindfulness keeps the mind focused on the object of meditation usually the breath instead of wandering away to the past or future. The most frequently used definition of mindfulness in Western science comes from Kabat-Zinn , p. The first component involves the self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment.
It is noteworthy to point out that two character strengths are at the core of this definition—self-regulation and curiosity. Definitions advanced by Buddhist scholar-monks are often simpler, but they pose measurement problems for Western science because of their generality.
A substantial amount of the basic experimental research is focused on state mindfulness—acute time-limited mindful presence; or dispositional trait mindfulness—mindful presence over time. Variations in dispositional mindfulness across people may be the result of a genetic or cultural predisposition, socialization, or training in mindfulness techniques.
Recently, there has been a growing debate about the sacred and secular aspects of mindfulness instruction. In the West, there has been a concerted effort to teach mindfulness meditation in a secular manner, without the trappings of its Buddhist ancestry i.
This has given rise to concerns that the instructions are being taught in a spiritual vacuum, without full understanding of the roots of the practice, or its ethical dimensions. With regard to mindfulness-based interventions, the criticisms range from charges of diluting the practice to completely divorcing it from its Buddhist roots.
Regardless of how it is taught on the continuum of sacred to secular, mindfulness is a basic innate human trait that can be liberated from the delusions of our being through meditation.
In this view, mindfulness enables the development of various strengths and virtues that are emphasized in positive psychology. Niemiec and Lissing have discussed a number of overlapping approaches to an integration of mindfulness and character strengths.
We will consider three of these: indirect focus, single strength integration, and total strength integration. While it is not yet clear that mindfulness and character strengths can be fully integrated, it is likely that these two concepts are synergistic and inherent as human potential.
It is evident from the mindfulness-based training literature that some aspects of these programs indirectly target variables that can conceivably be thought of as character strengths.
These outcomes and correlates are extrapolations, and will need verification in future research. To accept themselves and stop wishing things were different forgiveness, perspective.
To let go of old habits and choose a different way of being forgiveness, bravery, perseverance. To be present in the moment and notice small beauties and pleasures in the world curiosity, appreciation of beauty and excellence. There are a few mindfulness-based intervention programs that include characteristics of character strengths, although these interventions do not discuss this linkage in terms of character strengths specifically, or positive psychology generally.
These studies indicate the keen interest mindfulness researchers have in traits that are strongly emphasized in positive psychology and suggest further alignment of the two approaches in future research.
Preliminary studies suggest that these programs may be effective in enhancing psychological well-being and character strengths. Baer discusses how many character strengths are encouraged in mindfulness programs but MBSP, an eight-week, manualized program, is the only intervention designed to explicitly cultivate both mindfulness and character strengths.
Framed as a novel complement or enhancement to traditional mindfulness-based programs that essentially target a problem or disorder, MBSP uses strengths as the starting point to enhance well-being and manage life challenges. The MBSP program offers eight core themes and a variety of strengths-based practices and mindfulness meditations, each designed to simultaneously boost and practice strengths and mindfulness see Table 3.
MBSP emphasizes two general types of integration Niemiec, a :. Strong mindfulness: bringing character strengths to mindfulness practices and mindful living. Mindful strengths use: bringing mindfulness to character strengths practices. A careful mindful attention supports participants as they notice individual differences and the different degrees of strengths expression across contexts in their lives.
The autopilot mind is pervasive; insights and change opportunities start with mindful attention. Identify what is best in you; this can unlock the potential to engage more in work and relationships and reach higher personal potential. In pairs or triads, participants share recent positive experiences and practice steps involving the spotting of strengths. Participants engage in a challenge involving holding up their arms and facing the mental and physical obstacles and using mindfulness and strengths to manage the discomforts that ensue.
Mindfulness helps us attend to and nourish the best, innermost qualities in ourselves and others, while reducing negative judgments of self and others; conscious use of strengths can help us deepen and maintain a mindfulness practice. Practicing standing and walking meditation, and spotting strengths that arise and that are used during walking. Mindful attending can nourish two types of relationships: relationships with others and our relationship with ourselves.
Our relationship with ourselves contributes to self-growth and can have an immediate impact on our connection with others. Review of feedback of a 2—5-minute survey in which participants receive feedback from several people on their character strengths. Mindful living and character strengths apply not only to good meditation practice but also to daily conversation, eating, walking, sitting, reflecting, and the nuances therein e. This day is therefore, a practice day. Application of integration of character strengths and mindfulness in listening to oneself and others; and in eating, walking, and other behaviors in daily living.
It takes character e. Set mindfulness and character strengths goals with authenticity and goodness in the forefront of your mind. Structured exercises involving a choice of envisioning a future best self or reflecting on a defining moment, and relating these to personal goals.
Engage in an approach that fosters awareness and celebration of what is strongest in you and others. Table 4 offers examples of these two types of integration, specific practices, and the research base for each.
Bring attention to the use of one of your highest strengths in a new way each day. Gander et al. Name one barrier to your meditation practice e. Lomas et al. Identify one area of routine that you could bring mindfulness to e.
Notice the strengths that are already present in the experience. How might the experience be invigorated with additional strengths? Nhat Hanh ; Nhat Hanh ; Niemiec Skillful use of mindful listening and speaking to reframe challenges with character strengths language. Niemiec a conducted a feasibility and initial pilot study comparing MBSP with a non-randomized control group.
This chapter provides an overview of character strengths and mindfulness. Character strengths are specific psychological processes that define broader virtues, which are core characteristics that have been identified and valued by moral philosophers and religious thinkers throughout time. The chapter focuses on the contributions of the VIA Inventory of Strengths to research and assessment in character strengths, and the application of this framework to further strengths-based approaches to disability. Mindfulness has been described not only as a practice, but also as a state, a trait, a process, and an outcome. The chapter examines research, practice, and the application of mindfulness to disability contexts. A discussion of areas of connectivity between character strengths and mindfulness and a look at future directions for research and practice in character strengths and mindfulness in disability conclude the chapter. Keywords: Character strengths , mindfulness , VIA Inventory of Strengths , meditation , assessment , positive mindfulness.
18–. Character strengths and virtues: a handbook and classification / Christopher Peterson,. Martin E. P. Seligman p. cm. Includes bibliographical references (p.).
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. They virtues are wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Character strengths and virtues: A classification and handbook.
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We investigated cultural influences on the distribution of character strengths, gender differences in character strengths, and the relationship of happiness to character strengths. American and Japanese showed similar distributions of the 24 strengths measured: Higher strengths included love, humor and kindness, and lesser strengths included prudence, self-regulation, and modesty. Gender differences across cultures were also similar: Females were more likely than males to report strengths of love and kindness, whereas males were more likely to report bravery and creativity. In both samples, associations with happiness were found for zest, hope, curiosity and gratitude. The present study is a first step in an international study of character strengths, and we discuss the ubiquity and variation of character across culture. This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Two of positive psychology's leading figures, Chris Peterson and Martin Seligman, compiled a book with the title "Character Strengths and Virtues, A Handbook and Classification" within which they categorized all the strengths that are valued across the planet. In the process they studied positive character traits across research, history and in different fields and cultures and then distilled them into 24 distinct character strengths , all of which are universally valued. The resulting handbook is like a manual of mental wellness. Each strength belongs to one of six groups or virtues, namely wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. The six groups of virtues are listed in the mind map below and are defined in the sections immediately thereafter.
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