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What are your signature strengths? A tabulation of the VIA virtues and strengths

In an earlier article, What is Positive Psychology? (Part 2), I mentioned the Values in Action (VIA) Classification of Strengths Manual. This VIA was formulated after three years of extensive research into various sources such as religion and philosophy. As a tool, the VIA is indeed commendable for labelling our strengths, however, as it is relatively infant in usage, discretion should be exercised. I found the VIA Institute on Character’s exercises on using our strengths in innovative ways thought-provoking, and is definitely worth trying out!

Here is a tabulation of strengths classified under each virtue, Wisdom and Knowledge, Courage, Humanity and Love, Justice, Temperance, and Transcendence (Seligman, 2002).

Wisdom and Knowledge

  1. Curiosity/Interest in the World
  2. Love of Learning
  3. Judgment/Critical Thinking/Open-Mindedness
  4. Ingenuity/Originality/Practical Intelligence/Street Smarts
  5. Social Intelligence/Personal Intelligence/Emotional Intelligence
  6. Perspective


  1. Valour and Bravery
  2. Perseverance/Industry/Diligence
  3. Integrity/Genuineness/Honesty

Humanity and Love

  1. Kindness and Generosity
  2. Loving and Allowing Oneself to Be Loved


  1. Citizenship/Duty/Teamwork/Loyalty
  2. Fairness and Equity
  3. Leadership


  1. Self-Control
  2. Prudence/Discretion/Caution
  3. Humility and Modesty


  1. Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
  2. Gratitude
  3. Hope/Optimism/Future-Mindedness
  4. Spirituality/Sense of Purpose/Faith/Religiousness
  5. Forgiveness and Mercy
  6. Playfulness and Humour
  7. Zest/Passion/Enthusiasm

My top five strengths are Creativity, ingenuity, and originality; Curiosity and interest in the world; Appreciation of beauty and excellence; Capacity to love and be loved; and Leadership. What is yours?


Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new Positive Psychology to realise your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Simon & Schuster.


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