About this Research Topic
Among the building blocks of positive psychology are character strengths, which represent a group of positive traits an individual can possess that enable growth, flourishing and moral excellence. These traits were determined in a 3-year research project, involving 55 scientists that attempted to define what is best in human beings. The result of this effort was the careful selection of 24 measurable character strengths that are manifested behaviorally, cognitively and emotionally, defining six overarching, theologically and philosophically grounded virtues. The finished product was explained and detailed in a positive manual – the Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV) classification of strengths – describing the theoretical underpinnings, associations and outcomes of these traits.
Over the past two decades, more than 500 peer-reviewed articles have been published in character strengths research, in various life domains, contexts and situations. Using valid empirical methodologies, much information has been gained regarding character strengths, such as their antecedents, mechanisms of operation and effects. In fact, character strengths have been shown to be robustly and consistently related to, and promoting of various positive outcomes.
Given the time that has passed and given the large and varied body of research that has accumulated, we feel that the time has come to examine the state of character strengths theory, research and practice. Specifically, we feel that strengths research has become substantial enough so as to examine its achievements to date, to pause momentarily and to evaluate the avenues that have been originally proposed, but left unexplored or understudied, as well as to consider completely novel directions. As such the current research topic proposes to summarize a point-in-time in character strength research.
The goal of this Research Topic is to provide a platform for future character strengths explorations, examining novel and innovative theory, research and practice. As such, we invite both theoretical and empirical papers, summarizing past research (e.g. integrative reviews, meta-analyses) in various character strengths domains and settings, propositions and examinations of novel and previously untouched directions in character strengths research (e.g. spirituality and character strengths), as well as research exploring previously unexamined theoretical propositions on character strengths (e.g. the moral criterion).
The Guest Editors would like to express their profound gratitude to Pavel Freidlin for his valuable work in initiating this Research Topic and actively contributing to it.
Keywords: VIA, character strengths, virtues, morality, spirituality
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