Take the quiz: What are your top character strengths?

Lisa McKay Things to do

We’ve all seen those sorts of personality tests or relationship quizzes in magazines and on dating websites – 5 multiple choice questions that are supposed to tell you if you and your partner are really right for each other, 7 quick questions that purports to figure out whether your partner is cheating on you …

Many of these quizzes are silly, at best. At worst, they are harmful. They can provide false reassurance or raise needless doubts about your relationship.

But there are good tests and quizzes out there. A good personality test can provide food for thought, fodder for discussion, and help you learn new things about yourself.

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One of the most interesting tests I’ve come across is VIA Survey of Character Strengthsa psychological assessment measure designed to identify an individual’s profile of character strengths.

The version on the Authentic Happiness website is free. It has 240 multiple choice questions and takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. After you answer all the questions, you’re presented with a personal profile rank-ordering the 24 character strengths. Your top 5 strengths are considered your “signature strengths”.

This is such an interesting test that I often recommend people take it just to further their own personal reflection and growth. However, the exercise becomes even more fascinating if your partner also takes the inventory. Then you can compare your results and discuss the implications. If you’re in a long distance relationship, this is a great activity to stimulate discussion across the miles.

Want to play? Here’s what I suggest …

Go to http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu. Register so that you can access the Authentic Happiness Testing Center. Take the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. Then think about the following questions and discuss them with your partner.

Your strengths:

  1. What does the test suggest are your top five “signature” strengths?
  2. Do you agree with the strengths this test pinpoints as your top five, or not?
  3. List at least one way each of your top five strengths is evident in your life.
  4. Which two of your top eight strengths do you feel you use most frequently?
  5. Which two of your top eight strengths do you feel you use the least frequently?

Your partner’s strengths:

  1. What are your partner’s signature strengths?
  2. Do you agree that those five strengths are “signature” strengths for your partner, or would you have guessed that other strengths would show up more strongly in their profile?
  3. What are ways that you see these strengths show up in your partner’s life?
  4. What are ways that you and your partner have different strengths?
  5. How can these differences be complementary?

So, how did it go?
What are your signature strengths?
Did you agree with the results, or not?
Learn anything new and fun?


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