Understanding Virtue: Theory and Measurement – Nancy E. Snow (2021)

Abstract: The last thirty years has seen a resurgence of interest in virtue among philosophers, psychologists, and educators. As is often the case with interdisciplinary endeavors, this renewed interest in virtue faces an important challenge—namely, successfully standing up to the requirements imposed by different disciplinary standards. For virtue, this means developing an account that practitioners from multiple disciplines will find sufficiently rigorous, substantive, and useful. Our volume was born in response to this interdisciplinary challenge. Its objective here is twofold. First, drawing on Whole Trait Theory in psychology and Aristotelian virtue ethics, it offers accounts of virtue and character that are both philosophically sound and psychologically realistic—and thus, able to be meaningfully operationalized into empirically measurable variables. Second, it offers a range of strategies for how virtue and character (so conceived) can be systematically measured, relying on the insights from the latest research in personality, social, developmental, and cognitive psychology, and psychological science more broadly. It thereby seeks to contribute to the emerging science of the measurement of virtue and character.




2021 (Nancy E. Snow, with Jennifer Cole Wright and Michael T. Warren). Understanding Virtue: Theory and Measurement. New York: Oxford University Press.