To improve our measurement of virtues and character strengths, it is important to understand the efforts used to develop these measures thus far. The proposed research will synthesize the available evidence of reliability and validity of existing measures of eleven character strengths. Specifically, the proposal is for a coordinated series of meta-analyses of the internal consistency reliability, test-retest reliability, inter-informant reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity of existing measures of awe, creativity, curiosity, diligence, forgiveness, future-mindedness, generosity, gratitude, honesty, humility, and purpose. Beyond summarizing the overall psychometric qualities of these scales, these meta-analyses will evaluate the sample and methodological conditions under which these measures perform better or worse. These results will guide future research in making informed decisions about using these measures, and serve as a benchmark for the development of future measures.
The primary outputs of this research will be eleven manuscripts that will ultimately be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. These results will also be presented at national conferences prior to publication. Finally, the meta-analytic databases themselves will be important outputs that will be shared with other researchers. These databases will be updated after the project period to provide prospective meta-analyses of the performance of new or revised measures relative to existing measures. Thus, the longer term changes that could result from this project include a practice of quantitatively comparing measures, rather than more haphazard selection methods, as well as a more general shift toward using meta-analyses to synthesize our understanding of character strengths and virtues.