Positive Psychology, the Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues, and Issues of Measurement – Nancy E. Snow (2019)

Abstract: This essay raises concerns about positive psychology’s classification of character strengths and virtues and issues of measurement. Part I examines the process whereby the classification was compiled. Part II turns to issues of measurement and questions about positive psychologists’ sensitivity to variations in the meanings of the constructs they purport to measure, both within and across cultures. I argue that attempts to find a ‘deep structure’ of the character strengths and virtues should proceed hand in hand with efforts to render positive psychology and its measurement tools more sensitive to variability in character strengths and virtues across and within cultures. The essay concludes with suggestions for future research.



Citation: 2019 “Positive Psychology, the Classification of  Character Strengths and  Virtues, and Issues of Measurement,” The Journal of Positive Psychology 14:1: 20-31.