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Completed research project

Title / Titel Assessment of strength of character: German adaptation of the VIA-IS
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Original title / Originaltitel Diagnostik von Charakterstärken: Deutsche Adaptation des VIA-IS
Summary / Zusammenfassung One of the major recent accomplishments of positive psychology is the generation of a classification of character strength (Peterson & Seligman, 2004) and the construction of an instrument for its assessment, the Values in Action (VIA) Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS, Peterson & Seligman, 2003). The classification comprises 24 strength that are grouped around six core virtues, such as humanity, wisdom, and transcendence. The VIA-IS is a reliable and valid self-report questionnaire containing 240 items in a 5-point Likert-style answer format. In order to be able to perform studies of strength and virtues with German samples a project adapting the VIA-IS for use in the German speaking countries (Austria, Germany, Switzerland) is undertaken. The VIA-IS will be validated against other assessment tools of character strength, such as the peer version of the VIA-IS, the list of signature strength, self- and peer-ratings of character strength, and the structured interview for the assessment of character strength (VIA-SI). Furthermore, a web-based version will be generated and its results compared with the paper-pencil version.
Publications / Publikationen Construction article of the German version:

Ruch, W., Proyer, R. T., Harzer, C, Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2010). Values in action inventory of strengths (VIA-IS): Adaptation and validation of the German version and the development of a peer-rating form. Journal of Individual Differences, 31, 138-149. doi:10.1027/1614-0001/a000022

Studies using the German VIA-IS (selection)

Buschor, C.*, Proyer, R. T.*, & Ruch, W.* (2013). Self- and peer-rated character strengths: How do they relate to satisfaction with life and orientations to happiness? The Journal of Positive Psychology, 8, 116-127. doi:10.1080/17439760.2012.758305 (*authors contributed equally and are listed alphabetically)

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

Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2012). When the job is a calling: The role of applying one’s signature strengths at work. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 7, 362-371. doi:10.1080/17439760.2012.702784

Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2013). The application of signature character strengths and positive experiences at work. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14, 965-983. doi:10.1007/s10902-012-9364-0

Proyer, R. T., Gander, W., Wyss, T., & Ruch, W. (2011). The relation of character strengths to past, present, and future life satisfaction among German-speaking women. Applied Psychology: Health and Well Being, 3, 370-384. doi:10.1111/j.1758-0854.2011.01060.x

Ruch, W., Huber, A., Beermann, U., & Proyer, R. T. (2007). Character strengths as predictors of the “good life” in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. In Romanian Academy, “George Barit“ Institute of History, Department of Social Research (Ed.), Studies and researches in social sciences (Vol. 16, pp. 123-131). Cluj-Napoca, Romania: Argonaut Press.

Ruch, W. & Proyer, R. T. (2011). Positive Psychologie: Grundlagen, Forschungsthemen und Anwendungen. Report Psychologie, 36, 60-70.

Müller, L., & Ruch, W. (2011). Humor and strengths of character. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 6, 368-376. doi:10.1080/17439760.2011.592508

Selected presentations

Ruch, W., Furrer, G. & Huwyler, D. (2004). Character strengths of executives and employees. 2004 Positive Psychology Summit, 30.09. - 3.10.2004, Washington DC. USA.

Ruch, W. & Huber, A. (2004). Psychometric properties of the German version of the VIA-IS. 2004 Positive Psychology Summit, 30.09. - 3.10.2004, Washington DC. USA.

Weitere Informationen

Keywords / Suchbegriffe character strengths, positive psychology, virtues
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Dr. Willibald Ruch (Project Leader)
Alain Huber
Other links to external web pages
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Universität Zürich (position pursuing an academic career)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Prof. Christopher Peterson, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of Michigan
525 East University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1109
United States
Prof. Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Department of Psychology
3815 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6196
United States
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Jul 2004 to Oct 2011