Strength balance and implicit strength measurement: New considerations for research on strengths of character

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Strength balance and implicit strength measurement: New considerations for research on strengths of character
The Journal of Positive Psychology

Jack of all trades, master of none seems apropos to character strengths. Research indicates that readily endorsed and intrinsically motivating strengths (i.e. signature strengths) are most useful in promoting well-being; improving less-developed strengths receives less emphasis. Unfortunately, that research focuses exclusively on explicit self-report. We tested whether strength balance (i.e. jack of all strengths) impacts well-being beyond mastering signature strengths by conducting a multivariate regression with signature strengths and strength balance predicting life satisfaction and psychological need (relatedness, competency, and autonomy) satisfaction. We also developed a novel, strength-based implicit association test (IAT) to complement explicit measurement. Our study (N=140 adults) results suggest that signature strengths and strength balance uniquely predicted greater well-being. Though our IAT possessed poor internal consistency, it provides valuable information regarding the design of future implicit measures of character strengths. Strength balance and implicit strength measurement may offer new opportunities to further understanding of personality and well-being.

Citation: 
The Journal of Positive Psychology , 2015 Vol. 10, No. 1, 17 – 24

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