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Synopsis

Character" has become a front-and-center topic in contemporary discourse but this term does not have a fixed meaning. Character may be simply defined by what someone does not do but a more active and thorough definition is necessary one that addresses certain vital questions. Is character a singular characteristic of an individual or is it composed of different aspects? Does character--however we define it--exist in degrees or is it simply something one happens to have? How can character be developed? Can it be learned? Relatedly can it be taught and who might be the most effective teacher? What roles are played by family schools the media religion and the larger culture? This groundbreaking handbook of character strengths and virtues is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits. They approach good character in terms of separate strengths-authenticity persistence kindness gratitude hope humor and so on-each of which exists in degrees. Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture: wisdom courage humanity justice temperance and transcendence. Each strength is thoroughly examined in its own chapter with special attention to its meaning explanation measurement causes correlates consequences and development across the life span as well as to strategies for its deliberate cultivation. This book demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach about the good life.

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