Integrating psychological and cultural perspectives on virtue: The hierarchical structure of character strengths

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Integrating psychological and cultural perspectives on virtue: The hierarchical structure of character strengths
The Journal of Positive Psychology

The VIA Classification characterizes six culturally defined virtues as latent variables underlying 24 character strengths. Factor analyses of measures based on the Classification usually suggest 4–5 factors that do not correspond well to traditional lists of virtues. This article describes the identification of a three-virtue model across multiple measures of strengths in four samples encompassing 1,070,549 cases. The general pattern involved a first component representing good character that split into two components reflecting Goodness and Inquisitiveness. The former divided further into components reflecting Caring and Self-Control. This pattern recurred in all data sets. The model consisting of Caring, Inquisitiveness, and Self-Control is proposed as a reliable latent structure for the VIA Classification strengths, an intuitive classification of traditional cultural virtues, and a framework for social efforts encouraging the development of virtue.

Citation: 
The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2014

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