Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Psychologisches Institut » Persönlichkeitspsychologie und Diagnostik » Prof. Dr. Willibald Ruch » Ruch

Completed research project

Title / Titel Appreciation of beauty and excellence as a strength of character: Structural model, assessment and relation to positive emotions.
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Appreciation of beauty and excellence is one of the 24 strength of character postulated by Peterson and Seligman (2004). It is subsumed under the virtue of transcendence and is thought to encompass appreciation of beauty, excellence, and moral goodness. It is a dimension thought to be well developed among artists. The project consists of three elements. The first research answers the question whether there are multiple channels by which to connect with beauty and excellence, and thus contributes to the understanding of the structure of appreciation. Two models were examined: the appreciation of beauty and excellence model (Haidt & Keltner, 2004), and the engagement with beauty model (Diessner, Solom, Frost & Parsons, 2008). First the Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence Test (ABET) was developed which assesses the sensitivities comprised in Peterson and Seligman’s (2004) model. In a second study the appreciation of beauty and excellence (ABE) subscale of the Values In Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS; Peterson & Seligman, 2005), the engagement with beauty scale (EBS; Diessner et al., 2008), and the ABET were included in a structural equation modelling analysis. Results suggested a new three-dimensional model, encompassing the two previous ones, and distinguishing between natural beauty, artistic beauty, and non-aesthetic goodness. Secondly, the relationship between strengths and seven dimensions of positive emotions is examined. It is postulated that strengths are dispositions for the experience of a variety of positive emotions. Finally, the profile of different groups of musicians will be examined. It is expected that they are higher in different components of appreciation of beauty and excellence, not only the artistic component.
Publications / Publikationen Güsewell, A., & Ruch, W. (2012). Are only emotional strengths emotional? Character strengths and disposition to positive emotions. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 4, 218-239. doi:10.1111/j.1758-0854.2012.01070.x

Güsewell, A., & Ruch, W. (2012). Are there multiple channels by which to connect with beauty and excellence? Journal of Positive Psychology, 7, 516-529. doi: 10.1080/17439760.2012.726636

Güsewell, A., & Ruch, W. (2014). Are musicians particularly sensitive to beauty and goodness? Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 8, 96-103. doi:10.1037/a0035217

Güsewell, A., & Ruch, W. (2014). The flock of sheep revisited: Character strength profiles of musicians. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Dr. Willibald Ruch (Project Leader)
lic. phil. Angelika Güsewell
Other links to external web pages http://www.sinn-für-das-schö
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
No project-specific funding
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jun 2009 to Dec 2015