15 August 2007

What are your top five "signature strengths"?

Hi -

Are you curious what a bunch of scientists think your strongest characteristics are?

J-Fav pointed me to a series of questionnaires developed by UPenn researchers of "authentic happiness."

One asks you a series of questions - okay, a whole lot of questions, 240 of them - analyzes them and provides you with its impression of your top five "signature strengths" out of a collection of 25. You can also click a button to see their ranking. For instance, it confirmed my suspicion that I really do hold grudges and therefore have a low ranking of Forgiveness and Mercy. (Yes, we Italians don't do favors, we accumulate debts!)

Conversely, although computerized questionnaires don't really impact my self-image, it was nice to see that it picked up on my love of learning, the extent to which I enjoy thinking of new ways to do things, and my omnipresent "caution, prudence, and discretion," a trait which J-Fav rightfully teases me about.

It's fun, try it before the whole web bogs it down.

The process:
  1. Log in & register (Free, quick, blah blah)
  2. Choose "VIA Signature Strengths."
There are other ones that assess your happiness, your work/life mix, etc.

Would you mind leaving a comment if you try it out?



Professor B said...

My Strengths:

1.) Capacity to love and be loved
2.) Curiosity and interest in the world
3.) Industry, diligence, perserverance
4.) Love of learning
5.) Fairness, equity, and justice

I always wonder about the self-bias in these sort of things. Even though you try and do an honest assessment of yourself, I wonder if you, for example, would answer the questions about me in a similar way as I self-assessed, and thus, overall how valid these are.

Professor B said...

P.S. At the bottom of my list: Social Intelligence; hope, optimism, future-mindedness; perspective (wisdom); self-control and self-regulation; spirituality, sense of purpose, faith.

I find it interesting that I find those fairly accurate, whereas the top five strengths I am more ambivalent about.

Anonymous said...

My top 5:
1. Capacity to love and be loved
2. Gratitude
3. Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty
4. Fairness, equity, and justice
5. Perspective (wisdom)

Bottom 5:
5. Bravery and valor
4. Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness
3. Caution, prudence, and discretion
2. Industry, diligence, and perseverance
1. Self-control and self-regulation

These seem pretty accurate to me, although I was initially taken aback to see "genuineness" in the bottom 5. Then I realized that a) I do sometimes have a hard time telling the difficult, unvarnished truth to someone who might not really want to hear it, and b) I'm not a complainer by nature so sometimes I'm not real vocal about "true" feelings.
So that's how I rationalize it so I can live wtih my phony, dishonest self. ;)


MurkyMama said...

Top Five:
1. Forgiveness and mercy
2. Humor and playfulness
3. Love of learning
4. Curiosity and interest in the world
5. Capacity to love and be loved

Bottom Five:
20. Kindness and generosity
21. Citizenship, teamwork and loyalty
22. Industry, diligence and perseverance
23. Caution, prudence and discretion
24. Self-control and self-regulation

The only one that surprised me was "Kindness and generosity." I'm aware of all the other weaknesses! ;-)

G-Fav said...

Alright, now I feel a little less self-conscious. I agree about the "self-selection," like we're auto-biasing. Anyway:

My strengths:
1) Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
2) Love of learning
3) Social intelligence
4) Caution, prudence, and discretion
5) Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness

The bottom five:
20) Leadership (augh! I recall disagreeing with their notion of good leadership during the questionnaire...)
21) Self-control and self-regulation
22) Modesty and humility
23) Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith (hmm, aren't those different?)
24) Forgiveness and mercy


Anonymous said...

My top 5:

1) Curiosity and interest in the world
2) Humor and playfulness
3) Love of learning
4) Appreciation of beauty and excellence
5) Capacity to love and be loved

bottom 5:
5) Self-control and self-regulation
4) Caution, prudence, and discretion
3) Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith
2) Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty
1) Modesty and humility

I'm pretty appalled to be worst at modesty and humility out of everything. Also, I'm sure that in describing myself I described myself differently (both less and more generously) than anyone outside my head would have done.

Also, I object to "teamwork" and "loyalty" being in the same category. I have no interest in teams per se, and I study nationalism so I'm leery of blind assertions about citizenship, but I think I'm pretty loyal to my friends.

As for self-control... is there a time-stamp on this post? nuff said.


Webster said...

Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.

Your Second Strength
Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

Your Third Strength
Industry, diligence, and perseverance
You work hard to finish what you start. No matter the project, you "get it out the door" in timely fashion. You do not get distracted when you work, and you take satisfaction in completing tasks.

Your Fourth Strength
You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.

Your Fifth Strength
Zest, enthusiasm, and energy
Regardless of what you do, you approach it with excitement and energy. You never do anything halfway or halfheartedly. For you, life is an adventure.

Sadly, I may have taken the time to take the test and totally neglected my bottom 5. I didn't see them but would have been interested to see them.

G-Fav said...

Hey Webster - There's a button on the bottom that says something like "see all 24 strengths." You should be able to log in again because it keeps your results.