Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues

1.   Wisdom and Knowledgecognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and use of knowledge

Creativity [originality, ingenuity] : thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things

Curiosity : exploring and discovering; taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake

Open-Mindedness [judgment, critical thinking] : weighing all evidence fairly;
exploring the light of evidence them from all perspectives; not jumping to conclusions

Love of Learning : mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge

Perspective [wisdom] : being able to provide wise counsel to others;
having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people

2.  Courage—emotional strengths engaging the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, external or internal

Bravery : not shrinking from threat, difficulty, pain or cost; acting on convic­tion despite physical opposition or unpopularity

Persistence [perseverance, industriousness] : taking pleasure in completing tasks; finishing what one starts;
persisting in a course of action in spite of (often unforeseen) obstacles

Integrity [authenticity, honesty] : taking responsibility for one’s feelings, statements and actions;
speaking the truth, but also more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way

Vitality [zest, enthusiasm, vigor, energy] : approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or halfheartedly

3.   Humanity—interpersonal strengths that involve tending and befriending others

Love : valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated; being close to people

Kindness [generosity, care, compassion] : doing favors and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them

Social intelligence [emotional awareness] : being aware of the motives and feelings of oneself and of others;
knowing what to do to fit into different or novel social situations; knowing what makes other people tick

4.   Justicecivic strengths that underlie healthy community life

Citizenship [social responsibility, teamwork] : working well as a member of a group or team; loyalty to the group; doing one’s share

Fairness : according even-handed treatment to all; not allowing decision-making to be influenced by personal or external bias

Leadership : encouraging a group to which one belongs to get things done while maintaining time good relations within the group;
organizing group activities and ensuring they happen and bear fruit

5.   Temperancestrengths that protect against excess

Forgiveness : forgiving those who have done wrong; not being vengeful;
accepting others’ shortcomings; giving people a second chance

Modesty : letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves; not seeking the spotlight;
not regarding oneself as more special than one is

Prudence : being careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might be regretted at a later date

Self-control : regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one’s appetites and emotions

6.   Transcendencestrengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning

Elevation [appreciation of beauty and excellence, wonder] : noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance
in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience

Gratitude : being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks

Hope [optimism, future-mindedness, forward vision] :
expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is some­thing that can be brought about

Playfulness : liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side

Purpose [spirituality, faith] : having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe;
knowing where one fits within a larger scheme; having beliefs about the meaning of life that shape conduct and provide comfort

adapted from Character Strengths & Virtues: A Handbook & Classification , Christopher Peterson & Martin E.P. Seligman, 2004

                              re-formatted for clarity and cut by hajm ( Sun27may2K7

                          edited to reduce redundancies, phrase/linebreak formatting, specific streamlining of content by hajm Sun22mar2K9