Very Much Like Me

The unrelated background music for today.

Looks like it's time for another personal assessment. This is one of a series of questionnaires and inventories prepared as part of a program called Authentic Happiness. Yes, that's a name with some tall claims. The program is courtesy of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania so it may have some decent, scientifically-sound psychology chops.* It's also accessible without any monetary cost.

I took the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. (I think it's a longer version of the VIA Me! survey, which I have taken previously.) It's a series of 240 statements, evaluated in much the same way as the previous strengths surveys I've described (that is, a 5-point scale from Very Much Like Me to Very Much Unlike Me). Some of the statements feel rather transparent (i.e., "I am a spiritual person.") as it's clear how they translate to results (if you say you're spiritual, the survey won't disagree). This may be by design; perhaps the best indicator of a spiritual person is that they consider themselves spiritual.

Here are my results:
Your Top Strength
Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who you are. You are never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.
Your Second Strength
Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness
Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.
Your Third Strength
Appreciation of beauty and excellence
You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.
Your Fourth Strength
Humor and playfulness
You like to laugh and tease. Bringing smiles to other people is important to you. You try to see the light side of all situations.
Your Fifth Strength
Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.

So, not too different from the short version of the inventory. As part of my personal development class, we're being assigned the task to survey other folks about what strengths they think we display. I will have to see if there is a correlation.

*I tend to take just about any psychological theory or finding with a Volvo-sized grain of salt. To be fair, I don't have any formal education or experience with the actual study of psychology. My blanket judgement is largely unfounded. I've just read enough poorly-supported, statistically-unsound psychology claims to be wary.