Review of the VIA Strengths Test: Guide with All The Pros & Cons

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Do you know your core virtues and how to leverage them? The VIA Strengths Test aims to help you uncover them.

Review of the VIA Strengths Test Guide with All The Pros & Cons

Knowing your character strengths is more than just a self-esteem boost. It’s about aligning your life with your core values and maximizing your potential. The VIA Strengths Test provides the tools to recognize your strengths and how they contribute to your success.

This VIA Strengths Test review will walk you through how this powerful tool can guide you towards a better understanding of your unique character traits.

What is the VIA Strengths Test?

The VIA Strengths Test, or Values in Action Inventory of Strengths, was developed by renowned psychologists Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Christopher Peterson. Stemming from the field of positive psychology, the test was designed following extensive research into various cultures and historical periods to identify shared virtues that humanity values.

Their research identified six core virtues universally valued across cultures – wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence.

The origins of the VIA Strengths Test date back to the early 2000s, when positive psychology was taking root as a new field of study. The test’s basis lies in the theory that understanding and leveraging one’s character strengths can lead to increased well-being and resilience.

This approach shifted from traditional psychology’s focus on fixing what’s wrong to positive psychology’s emphasis on building what’s right.

The VIA Strengths Test centers around six core virtues, each comprising several character strengths. These virtues and strengths aren’t merely positive traits; they contribute to individual fulfillment and authentic happiness.

The test is designed to help individuals recognize these virtues within themselves, leading to a greater sense of self-understanding.

When taking the VIA Strengths Test, individuals answer questions to measure how each of the 24 character strengths manifests in their lives. The test then ranks these strengths from most to least dominant, providing a unique profile of an individual’s character strengths.

This profile serves as a roadmap for personal and professional development.

The VIA Strengths Test has wide-ranging applications, from personal development to organizational management.

By helping individuals identify their dominant strengths, the test enables them to leverage these strengths to enhance their personal and professional lives.

For organizations, the test can provide insights into team dynamics and inform leadership development and team-building strategies.

Why Take a VIA Strengths Assessment?

Understanding your strengths can offer a competitive edge in your career. The VIA Strengths Test provides a clear roadmap to your innate abilities. It’s like uncovering a secret weapon you didn’t even know you had. So, how does this help in career choices and enhancing professional growth?

Understanding your strengths can be extremely valuable when choosing a career path or contemplating a career shift. The VIA Strengths Test can guide you towards careers that naturally align with your strengths, making work feel less like an obligation and more like a joy.

Choosing a career that leverages your strengths makes you more likely to feel satisfied and successful in your professional endeavors.

The VIA Strengths Test can also aid in professional growth by helping you identify areas for development. By understanding your strengths, you can focus on improving areas that will make the most significant impact.

Moreover, recognizing your strengths can boost your confidence, help you stand out in your workplace, and lead to more opportunities for advancement.

On a personal level, taking the VIA Strengths Test can contribute to self-improvement. By gaining awareness of your strengths, you can strive to utilize them more in your daily life.

This can lead to more significant personal fulfillment and a more robust sense of identity. Plus, it can help guide your choices and decisions in a way that aligns with who you are.

Lastly, the VIA Strengths Test can aid in self-improvement by providing a clear roadmap for personal growth. Knowing your strengths can help you set realistic and achievable goals. It can also boost self-confidence, enhance resilience, and improve overall well-being.

This improved self-understanding can translate into better relationships, a more positive outlook, and increased satisfaction in all areas.

How Long Does the VIA Character Survey Take to Finish?

The VIA Character Survey, developed by the nonprofit VIA Institute, is a scientifically validated personality test that helps identify an individual’s character strengths. This tool offers deep insights, but it does require a time investment.

It typically takes about 15-20 minutes to complete the VIA Character Survey. This time estimate depends on how quickly you read and respond to the survey questions. It may take longer if you take the time to reflect on each question and how it relates to your experiences.

Several factors can influence the speed at which you complete the survey. For instance, your familiarity with the content, reading speed, and decision-making speed can affect how long the survey takes.

Additionally, your current mental state (e.g., if you are tired or distracted) could also impact the time it takes to complete the survey.

While the VIA Character Survey requires a specific time commitment, weighing this against the valuable insights gained is essential.

The information you learn from the survey can help shape your personal and professional development, leading to better self-understanding and potential growth opportunities.

Remember, the VIA Character Survey isn’t a race. The aim is to gain meaningful insights about your characteristics and strengths. Therefore, it’s worth taking the time to answer each question thoughtfully and honestly.

Can You Use the VIA Strengths Test for Recruitment?

The VIA Strengths Test offers a wealth of information about a person’s innate character strengths, and this data can be incredibly beneficial in a recruitment context. It’s important to remember that the VIA Strengths Test isn’t just a tool for self-discovery. Still, it can provide valuable insights into a candidate’s potential fit within a team or organization.

Consider the concept of team composition. For example, if you’re building a team, you want to balance strengths that can work together to achieve common goals.

By using the VIA Strengths Test in the recruitment process, it’s possible to identify which strengths a potential candidate would bring.

You can then match these strengths with those of the existing team to create an effective workforce.

The VIA Strengths Test can also assist in aligning candidate strengths with specific roles within the organization.

For instance, a candidate with top leadership power might be well-suited for a managerial role. In contrast, a candidate with ‘creativity’ as a dominant strength could thrive in a more innovative position.

Moreover, the VIA Strengths Test data can also be used to design effective onboarding programs. By understanding a recruit’s strengths, training can be tailored to amplify these attributes.

This personalized approach supports the individual and enhances their contribution to the organization.

Finally, it’s essential to mention that while the VIA Strengths Test is a powerful tool for recruitment, it should not be the sole deciding factor.

It is most effective with other recruitment strategies, such as interviews and skills assessments, to provide a comprehensive picture of a candidate’s suitability for a role.

What is the VIA Character Strengths Assessment Similar To?

The VIA Character strengths assessment shares similarities with other personality and strength assessment tools such as the StrengthsFinder and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

These tools aim to uncover an individual’s strengths and personality traits, offering insights into personal growth and career development.

CliftonStrengths, a tool developed by Gallup, also identifies an individual’s top strengths, emphasizing the idea of focusing on what people are naturally good at. Similar to VIA, it can shape recruiting strategies and job role allocations.

However, StrengthsFinder assessments primarily focus on talent – a person’s natural patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior – rather than character strengths.

The VIA Strengths Test and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) offer insights into individual behavior and personality traits. Based on Carl Jung’s theory, the MBTI identifies individual preferences in four dimensions – thinking/feeling, sensing/intuition, introversion/extraversion, and judging/perception.

Although MBTI doesn’t explicitly mention ‘strengths,’ the insights can be valuable for understanding how different individuals might work best and fit into a team.

While there are similarities, the VIA Strengths Test distinguishes itself in its focus on positive psychology. It identifies character strengths that contribute to an individual’s well-being and happiness.

This emphasis on positivity makes VIA unique, providing more nuanced insights into factors that can contribute to an individual’s success and satisfaction in the workplace.

Despite the common aim of these tools to identify inherent strengths and traits, it’s important to remember that each has its unique focus and approach. Therefore, choosing the right tool depends on what specific insights and outcomes an organization is seeking.

Is the VIA Character Strengths Survey Scientifically Validated?

The VIA Character Strengths Survey is indeed scientifically validated. With a sound theoretical background in positive psychology, the VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) results from extensive research. It has proven its reliability and validity in numerous studies.

Psychologists Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman identified strengths valued in nearly every culture and then designed the VIA-IS to measure these. The VIA-IS is grounded in their pioneering work, which has significantly impacted the field of positive psychology.

The VIA Survey has been rigorously tested in various settings and with different populations. Studies have confirmed the test’s reliability, consistency, and validity across cultures and age groups. Research suggests that the 24 character strengths it identifies contribute to a person’s overall well-being and life satisfaction.

The relevance and applicability of the VIA Survey results in different spheres of life-such as education, work, and personal development-further attest to its scientific validity.

The tool has been used to foster resilience, improve relationships, increase productivity, and promote positive education, among other benefits.

The body of ongoing research continues to strengthen the credibility and value of the VIA Character Strengths Survey. Its robust grounding in positive psychology and empirical evidence of its effectiveness make it a reliable tool for understanding an individual’s character strengths.

How Much Does VIA Character Strengths Cost?

VIA Character Strengths is a highly valued tool in positive psychology. Interestingly, the basic VIA survey is available at no cost to individuals. This free access allows a wide range of people to understand their character strengths and leverage them to improve their quality of life.

While the basic VIA survey is free, detailed reports are available for a fee. These reports provide a deeper analysis and a more comprehensive understanding of character strengths.

Given their valuable insights, the cost of these premium reports could be seen as an investment in personal growth and development rather than an expense.

The cost structure of VIA Character Strengths may vary for institutions, such as schools or organizations. Licensing agreements or package deals might include comprehensive insights and resources for larger groups. These could incorporate individual results, aggregated data, and tools for group analysis.

The premium report of the VIA survey provides an in-depth analysis of an individual’s character strengths. It offers detailed descriptions, personalized advice, and actionable steps for each strength.

The cost associated with these premium features is justified by the profound personal insights they provide.

Whether free or paid, the cost of VIA Character Strengths is less about monetary value and more about the potential for personal growth and well-being. The tool’s affordability and accessibility make it an invaluable resource for individuals and institutions interested in positive psychology.

The Pros and Cons of the VIA Strengths Test

Knowing the VIA Strengths Test Advantages and Disadvantages will help me understand how to best utilize the tool for personal growth.

One significant advantage of the VIA Strengths Test is its solid scientific grounding. This assessment tool is backed by robust psychological research, ensuring its reliability and validity in identifying character strengths. With this foundation, users can trust the test results, knowing they are based on credible, established psychological theories and studies.

Another notable benefit of the VIA Strengths Test is the accessibility of its basic report. Users can take the test and receive a primary analysis of their character strengths free of charge.

This accessibility allows anyone, regardless of financial situation, to gain valuable insights into their strengths and how these can be used to enhance their life.

In terms of disadvantages, one drawback of the VIA Strengths Test is the limited depth provided in the free version. While the basic report offers a general view of a person’s strengths, it lacks a comprehensive analysis in the paid version.

This may give users a less thorough understanding of their character strengths and how to capitalize on them effectively.

Additionally, the cost of the premium report could be seen as a downside for some users. While the report undoubtedly provides valuable insights, the price tag may be a hurdle for some individuals despite being viewed as an investment in personal growth. This is particularly true for those who might not be able to afford the cost of the detailed report.

While the VIA Strengths Test is globally accessible, the language barrier can be a potential disadvantage. The test is primarily offered in English, which might limit its usage among non-English speakers. While translations exist for some languages, the breadth of these translations may not cater to the full spectrum of global users.

How To Take the VIA Strengths Test

The VIA Strengths Test is primarily an online assessment accessible to anyone with internet access. The test’s official website is the most reliable source to take the test. It allows users to take the test in a secure environment, ensuring the privacy of their responses.

Being primarily an online test, it’s vital to have a stable internet connection to complete the test without interruption. The test typically takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete, so ensuring adequate time without disturbance is crucial.

When taking the VIA Strengths Test, honesty is vital. It’s essential to answer each question truthfully, as this will provide the most accurate depiction of your character strengths. Try not to overthink your responses; your initial reaction usually reflects your true personality.

In addition, it’s recommended to be in a relaxed state when taking the test. This will help you to concentrate better and provide more accurate answers. It’s also advised to avoid any external influences and to answer based on your feelings and beliefs rather than those of others.

Finally, consistency is crucial when taking the VIA Strengths Test. Try to be consistent in your responses to similar questions. This will ensure the results are more accurate and reflect your true character strengths.

Real User Reviews

Users often highlight the depth of insights provided by the VIA Strengths Test. Many feel it offers a unique perspective on personal characteristics, which has helped them understand themselves better. Frequently, users report feeling more self-aware and confident after taking the test.

They appreciate the detailed report given at the end, which provides a clear breakdown of their strengths, proving beneficial in both personal and professional contexts.

Many users compliment the easy-to-use interface of the VIA Strengths Test. The instructions are clear, and the layout is intuitive, making the process straightforward even for those who are not tech-savvy.

The test is also praised for being time-efficient, often taking less than the estimated 20 minutes to complete. This user-friendliness adds to the overall positive experience of the test.

On the flip side, some users voice dissatisfaction over the repetitiveness of the questions. They feel that similar queries are asked too often, making the test seem long and somewhat tedious. These users suggest a more varied question set would make the test more engaging and enjoyable.

Criticism also arises regarding the interpretation of the test results. Some users feel the results are too generalized and lack the depth they expect from such a detailed questionnaire.

These users were left wanting more personalized and specific insights into their character strengths rather than broad categories and descriptions.


The VIA Strengths Test draws a mixed bag of feedback. The easy-to-use interface and efficient process are aspects that users enjoy. Yet, repetitive questions and a lack of depth in results interpretation leave some users wanting more. 

As with any tool, the VIA Strengths Test has room for growth and improvement. The user feedback provides valuable insights into areas to focus on to enhance the overall user experience.