The implicit structure of positive characteristics

Haslam, Nick, Bain, Paul, & Neal, David (2004) The implicit structure of positive characteristics. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30(4), pp. 529-541.

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The implicit structure of positive character traits was examined in two studies of 190 and 100 undergraduates. Participants judged the pairwise covariation or semantic similarity of 42 positive characteristics using a sorting or a rating task. Characteristics were drawn from a new classification of strengths and virtues, the Five-Factor Model, and a taxonomy of values. Participants showed consistent patterns of perceived association among the characteristics across the study conditions. Multidimensional scaling yielded three consistent dimensions underlying these judgments (“warmth vs. self-control,” “vivacity vs. decency,” and “wisdom vs. power”). Cluster analyses yielded six consistent groupings—“self-control,” “love,” “wisdom,” “drive,” “vivacity,” and “collaboration”—that corresponded only moderately to the virtue classification. All three taxonomies were systematically related to this implicit structure, but none captured it satisfactorily on its own. Revisions to positive psychology’s classification of strengths are proposed.

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23 citations in Scopus
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19 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 83071
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: character, implicit personality theory, positive psychology, strengths, virtue
DOI: 10.1177/0146167203261893
ISSN: 0146-1672
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Personality Abilities and Assessment (170109)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 07 Apr 2015 04:13
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2015 04:14

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