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Does the Excellent Enactment of Highest Strengths Reveal Virtues?


Giuliani, Fiorina; Ruch, Willibald; Gander, Fabian (2020). Does the Excellent Enactment of Highest Strengths Reveal Virtues? Frontiers in Psychology, 11:1545.

Abstract

Two studies examined the assumption that character strengths enable virtues and facilitate the good life. Study 1 validated a "layperson's excellent enactment of highest strengths paradigm". This paradigm states that more appropriate assignments of character strengths to virtues are obtained when based on descriptions of highest character strengths enacted in an excellent way, than when based on lowest character strengths, or typical enactments. A sample of N = 230 German-speaking participants provided descriptions of situations in which they enacted their highest and lowest strengths excellently and typically and rated these situations on the degree of the six core virtues, strength expression, fulfillment, and intellectual and moral quality. Behavior examples of highest strengths excellently enacted were rated higher and with higher differentiation in the dependent variables than typical enactments or lowest strengths, thus confirming the paradigm. In Study 2, we applied the paradigm: A second sample of N = 113 German-speaking participants rated a selected subset of strengths-behaviors of layperson's excellent enactment of highest strengths collected in Study 1 in regard to their degree of the six core virtues. Results confirmed previous convergent and discrepant findings with the theoretical VIA classification. We can conclude that the excellent enactment of highest strengths does indeed reveal virtues. Future studies should use the paradigm and examine culturally diverse samples with different methods for further examining the VIA classification.

Abstract

Two studies examined the assumption that character strengths enable virtues and facilitate the good life. Study 1 validated a "layperson's excellent enactment of highest strengths paradigm". This paradigm states that more appropriate assignments of character strengths to virtues are obtained when based on descriptions of highest character strengths enacted in an excellent way, than when based on lowest character strengths, or typical enactments. A sample of N = 230 German-speaking participants provided descriptions of situations in which they enacted their highest and lowest strengths excellently and typically and rated these situations on the degree of the six core virtues, strength expression, fulfillment, and intellectual and moral quality. Behavior examples of highest strengths excellently enacted were rated higher and with higher differentiation in the dependent variables than typical enactments or lowest strengths, thus confirming the paradigm. In Study 2, we applied the paradigm: A second sample of N = 113 German-speaking participants rated a selected subset of strengths-behaviors of layperson's excellent enactment of highest strengths collected in Study 1 in regard to their degree of the six core virtues. Results confirmed previous convergent and discrepant findings with the theoretical VIA classification. We can conclude that the excellent enactment of highest strengths does indeed reveal virtues. Future studies should use the paradigm and examine culturally diverse samples with different methods for further examining the VIA classification.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Psychology
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:15 Dec 2020 14:10
Last Modified:01 Jan 2021 21:06
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-1078
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01545
PubMed ID:32793034
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100014_172723
  • : Project TitleStudies on the Advancement of Character Research

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