Research – Use Your Strengths 2017-01-13T13:40:35+00:00

Research – Use Your Strengths

Martin Seligman et al. tested five common Positive Psychology interventions to explore which can produce an increase in happiness that lasts. One exercise involved participants identifying their five top “signature” strengths via an online test. They then put one of these strengths into practice in a new way each day for a week. It didn’t matter whether they focused on the same strength across the week, or varied the attribute daily. Immediately after completing the exercise and for a further six months, participants saw an increase in their happiness and decrease in symptoms of depression. The more they practised the exercise, the longer the positive effect was felt. Participants who identified their positive strengths but did not use them in new ways did not see a lasting impact.

Read Seligman et al.’s review here:

Positive psychology progress: empirical validation of interventions

(If you have any problems following links in our research, then please copy and paste the text from our footnote* into your browser top bar)

Nansook Park, Christopher Peterson and Martin E.P. Seligman surveyed 5,299 adults to investigate the relationship between character strengths and life satisfaction. The study found that “consistently and robustly associated with life satisfaction were hope, zest, gratitude, love, and curiosity. Only weakly associated with life satisfaction, in contrast, were modesty and the intellectual strengths of appreciation of beauty, creativity, judgment, and love of learning.” They also found that the more intensely someone possessed a particular strength, the greater their life satisfaction. On the other hand, those very low in zest and hope were associated with noticeably lower life satisfaction.

Learn more about these individual strengths and the implications of this study here:

Strengths of Character and Well-being

Resources

Take this test to discover what your top “signature” strengths are:

VIA Character Survey

Want some ideas on practical and novel ways you can put your strengths to use? Follow this link for a few ideas based on research done by Tayyab Rashid:

340 Ways to Use VIA Character Strengths

Discover your personality type according to Jungian theory here:

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Discover your personality type within a system of distinct patterns of thinking, feeling and acting here:

The Enneagram Institute

Watch this eight-minute video to learn about the importance of cultivating a growth mind-set and how to develop a best version of ourselves and encourage others to do the same:

The Science of Character

Footnote*

(If you have any problems following links in our research, then please copy and paste the text below relating to the article you wish to see into your browser top bar)

Martin Seligman et al.
Positive psychology progress: empirical validation of interventions
http://dev.rickhanson.net/wp-content/files/papers/PosPsyProgress.pdf

Nansook Park, Christopher Peterson and Martin E.P. Seligman
Strengths of Character and Well-being
http://www.viacharacterblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Character-strengths-well-being-Park-Peterson-Seligman-2004.pdf

Strength Studies
Strengths Use, Self-Concordance and Well-Being: Implications for Strengths Coaching and Coaching Psychologists International (Abstract only)
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238769943_Strengths_Use_Self-Concordance_and_Well-Being_Implications_for_Strengths_Coaching_and_Coaching_Psychologists

Strengths use as a predictor of well-being and health-related quality of life
http://legacy.kingscollege.school.nz/docs/Positive%20Education/Strengths.pdf

Using personal and psychological strengths leads to increases in well-being over time: A longitudinal study and the development of the strengths use questionnaire
http://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/alex.wood/strengths.pdf

Resources
VIA Character Survey
https://www.viacharacter.org/survey/account/register

340 Ways to Use VIA Character Strengths
http://tayyabrashid.com/pdf/via_strengths.pdf [PDF]

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
http://www.myersbriggs.org

The Enneagram Institute
https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/how-to-begin-with-the-enneagram/

The Science of Character