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Signature Strengths : Self-Rating Scale

Adapted by Jonathan Haidt, from M.E.P. Seligman, 2002: Authentic Happiness

Everyone has a characteristic set of strengths and virtues, that is, things that they are “good” or “strong” on. Research in Positive Psychology suggests that there are (at least) 24 strengths and virtues that are recognized in most cultures.

Please read the descriptions of the 24 strengths and virtues below. As you read them, write a “+” in the margin next to the ones that you think describe you well. Write a “-“ in the margin next to the ones that you think do not describe you well. Leave the rest unmarked. Then look through the ones with a “+” next to them and try to rank order your top 5. That is, place a “1″ in the left-hand column for the one that you think best describes you, then a “2″ in the next best one, etc. Finally, look through the ones with a “-“ in the margin and try to rank the five that are LEAST true or applicable to you. That is, put a “24″ next to the one that is least like you, then a “23″, etc., out to 20. These might be considered your “weaknesses.” But bear in mind that everyone has strengths AND weaknesses, and being honest about both will help you plan out a life that takes maximum advantages of your strengths.


Strength Description
1.CuriosityRank_______ You are curious about the world and you strongly desire experience of it. You are flexible about matters that don’t fit your preconceptions. Curious people do not simply tolerate ambiguity but they like it and are intrigued by it. You seek out novelty, and you are rarely bored.
2.Love of learningRank_______ You love learning new things, whether you are in a class or on your own. You always loved school, reading, museums – anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn. There are domains of knowledge in which you are the expert, and others value your expertise. You love learning about these domains, even in the absence of any external incentives to do so.


You think things through and examine them from all sides. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind. You are very good at sifting information objectively and rationally, in the service of the good for yourself and others.  You do NOT just think in ways that favor and confirm what you already believe.
4.IngenuityRank_______ When you are faced with something you want, you are outstanding at finding novel yet appropriate behavior to reach that goal.  You are rarely content with doing something the conventional way. This strength is also called “practical intelligence” or more bluntly common sense or street smarts.
5.Emotional intelligenceRank_______ You are aware of the motives and feelings of others, and of yourself, and you can respond skillfully. You notice differences among others, especially with respect to their moods, temperaments, motivations, and intentions, and then you act upon these distinctions. You also have finely tuned access to your own feelings and the ability to use that knowledge to understand and guide your behavior.
6.PerspectiveRank_______ You have a way of looking at the world that makes sense to others and yourself. Others seek you out to draw on your experience, and you are often able to help them solve problems and gain perspective. You have a good sense of what is really important in life.


You do not shrink from threat, challenge, pain, or difficulty. Valor is more than bravery during physical threat. It refers as well to intellectual or emotional stances that are unpopular, difficult, or dangerous. The brave person is able to uncouple the emotional and behavioral components of fear, resisting the urge to flee and facing the fearful situation. Fearlessness, boldness, and rashness are not valor; it is facing danger, despite fear, that marks valor.
8.PerseveranceRank_______ You finish what you start. You take on difficult projects and finish them, usually with good cheer and minimal complaint. You do what you say will do and sometimes more, never less. Perseverance does not mean dogged or obsessive pursuit of unattainable goals. Rather you remain flexible, realistic, and not perfectionistic.
9.IntegrityRank_______ You are an honest person, not only always speaking the truth but also living your life in a genuine and authentic way. You are down to earth and without pretense.  You representing your intentions and commitments to others and to yourself in sincere fashion, whether by word or deed.
10.KindnessRank_______ You are kind and generous to others, and you are never too busy to do a favor. You enjoy doing good deeds for others, even if you do not know them well. Your actions are very often guided by other people’s best interests, even when these override your own immediate wishes and needs.
11.LovingRank_______ You value close and intimate relations with others. You have deep and sustained feelings for others, who feel the same way about you. This strength is more than the Western notion of romance; it is about very deep ties to several or many people.
12.CitizenshipRank_______ You excel as a member of a group. You are a loyal and dedicated teammate, You always do your share, and you work hard for the success of the group. You value the group goals and purposes even when they differ from your own. You respect those who are rightfully in positions of authority, like teachers or coaches, and you identify with the group.
13.FairnessRank_______ You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance. You guided in your day-to-day actions by larger principles of morality. You take the welfare of others, even those you do not know personally, as seriously as your own, and you can easily set aside personal prejudices.
14.LeadershipRank_______ You do a good job organizing activities and seeing to it that they happen. You are a humane and effective leader, attending to getting the group’s work at the same time as maintaining good relations among group members. You are additionally humane when you handle intergroup relations  “with malice toward none and charity toward all.”
15.Self-controlRank_______ You can easily hold your desires, needs, and impulses in check when it is appropriate. It is not enough to know what is correct; you must also be able to put this knowledge into action. When something bad happens, you can regulate your own emotions. You can repair and neutralize your negative feelings, and generate positive emotions on your own.
16.PrudenceRank_______ You are a careful person. You do not say or do things you might later regret. You wait until all the votes are in before embarking on a course of action. You are far-sighted and deliberative. You are good at resisting impulses about short term goals for the sake of longer term success.
17.Humility You do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. You do not regard yourself as special, and others recognize and value your modesty. You are unpretentious. You see your own aspirations, victories and defeats as pretty unimportant in the larger scheme of things.
18.AppreciationRank_______ You stop and smell the roses. You appreciate beauty, excellence, and skill in all domains: nature, the arts, science, and the wide range of abilities that other people possess. You often see or hear things cause you to feel profound feelings of awe and wonder.
19.GratitudeRank_______ You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. You always take the time to express your thanks. Gratitude is an appreciation of someone else’s excellence in moral character. We are grateful when people do well by us, but we can also be more generally grateful for good acts and good people. Gratitude can also be directed toward impersonal and nonhuman sources–God, nature, life – but it cannot be directed toward the self.
20.HopeRank_______ You expect the best in the future, and you plan and work in order to achieve it. Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness are a family of strengths that represent a positive stance toward the future. Expecting that good events will occur, feeling that these will ensue if you try hard, and planning for the future sustain good cheer in the here-and-now and galvanize a goal-directed life.
21.SpiritualityRank_______ You have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. You know where you fit in the larger scheme. Your beliefs shape your actions and are a source of comfort to you. You have an articulated philosophy of life, religious or secular, that locates your being in the larger universe. Life has meaning for you by virtue of attachment to something larger than yourself.
22.ForgivenessRank_______ You forgive those who have done you wrong. You always give people a second chance. Your guiding principle is mercy and not revenge. Forgiveness represents a set of prosocial changes that occur within an individual who has been offended or hurt by someone else. When people forgive, their motivations and actions regarding the transgressor become more positive (e.g., benevolent, kind, generous) and less negative (e.g., vengeful, avoidant).
23.HumorRank_______ You like to laugh and bring smiles to other people. You can easily see the light side of life. You are playful and funny.
24.ZestRank_______ You are a spirited person. You throw yourself body and soul into the activities you undertake. You wake up in the morning looking forward to the day. The passion that you bring to activities is infectious.