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Chapter 3

PSYC 335 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Social Intelligence, Semi-Structured Interview, Menninger Foundation


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 335
Professor
Dean A Tripp
Chapter
3

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PSYC 335:
POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
CHAPTER #3
CLASSIFICATIONS & MEASURES OF STRENGTHS & POSITIVE OUTCOMES
Karl Menninger
-built menninger clinic to attempt to change the way health care professionals viewed the
diagnosis, prevention, & treatment of mental illness
-encouraged clinicians & researchers to dispense the old labels of sickness & develop
diagnostic system that describes the life process rather than states or conditions
-focus on the power of love, hope, and faith
-measuring human strengths
Strength: a capacity for feeling, thinking, or behaving in a way that allows optimal
functioning in the pursuit of valued outcomes
-work on the classification of weakness and illnesses has had much more effort and history
than of strengths
-in 21st C. 2 classifications of illness have attained worldwide acceptance
1. The world health organizations international classifications of diseases (ICD)
Classified all diseases, much more broad
2. The American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic & statistical manual (DSM)
Classified only mental disorders
-no classifications of strengths of positive outcomes has achieved worldwide use or
acceptance but some have been created
-3:
1. The Gallup Themes of Talent as measured by the clifton strengthsfinder & clifton
youth explorer
2. The Values in Action (VIA) classifications of strengths as measured by the adult &
youth versions of the VIA inventory of strengths
3. The search institute’s 40 developmental assets as measured by the search institute
profiles of student life: attitudes & behaviours
Psychometric properties: the measurement characteristics of the tolls
Reliability: the extent to which a scale is consistent or stable
Validity: the extent to which a scale measures what it purports to measure
Gallup’s Clifton StrengthsFinder
-Donald Clifton
-based analysis of success on the Q “ what would happen if we studied what is right w ppl?”
-believed that talents could be operationalized, studied, & accentuated in work & academic
settings
-defined talent as → naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behaviour that can be
productively applied & manifested in life experiences characterized by yearnings, rapid
learning, satisfaction, & timelessness
-considered these trait-like raw materials to be the products of normal, healthy development
& successful childhood & adolescent experiences
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-viewed strengths as extensions of talent → the strength construct combines talent w
associated knowledge & skills & is defined as the ability to provide consistent, near perfect
performance in a specific task
-considered success to be closely allied w personal traits, strengths & analytical intelligence
-based on these beliefs he identified hundreds of personal talents that predicted success in
work & academics
-he constructed empirically based (grounded in theory & research findings) , semi
structured interviews for identifying those talents
When developing interviews he examined the prescribed roles of a person, visited
the jobsite, or academic setting, identified outstanding performers in these roles &
settings, & determined the long-standing thoughts, feelings, & behaviours associated
w situational success
Interviews useful in predicting positive outcomes
Systematically reviewed the data from interviews & identified about 3 dozen themes
of talent involving enduring positive qualities
-developing the Clifton StrengthsFinder
1st step in developing strengthsfinder as an online measure was to construct a pool
of over 5000 items
Selection based on traditional construct, content, & criterion validity evidence
A smaller pool was created later for item functioning
Factor & reliability analyses were conducted to produce max theme info in an
instrument of minimal length
Sets of items were pilot tested & those w the strongest psychometric properties were
retained
1st version launched w 35 themes, changed to 34 themes (180 item pairs, 360 items,
256 are scored)
Now revised 178 items
Scales are internally consistent & stable over 1 week to 6 month periods
Test-retest correlations were good
Independence of themes
Not to be used in employee selection or mental health screening → to be used to
doster intrapersonal development & using it for comparisons of individuals profiles is
discourages
Not sensitive to change
Also youth version → Clifton Youth StrengthsExplorer: developers believe that
knowledge about youth ppls strengths will help in directing their energies to maximize
their potentials
Taps in 10 themes (achieving, caring, competing, confidence,
dependability,discoverer,future thinker, organizing, presence, & relating)
Gets workbooks that Chooses top 3 themes & action items & exercised that
can help capitalize strengths, parent & educator guides available to help
develop their positive characteristics
The VIA Classification of Strengths
-antithesis of DSM
-Peterson & Seligman state that we have a shared language for speaking about the
negative side of psychology but no such equivalent for describing human strengths
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-VIA classification provides this common language & encourages a more strength-
based approach to diagnosis & treatment
-generated in response to 2 Qs:
1. How can one define the concepts of strengths & highest potential?
2. How can one tell that a positive youth development program has succeeded
in meeting its goals?
-Decided that components of character included :
virtues → core characteristics valued by some moral philosopher, religious thinkers,
& everyday folk
character strengths → psych processes & its mechanisms that define virtues
Situational themes → specific habits that lead ppl to manifest strengths in particular
situations
-dozens of inventories of virtues & strengths & perspectives of character were reviewed
-applied 10 criteria for defining strength to a long list of potential constructs, than 24
strengths were identified & organized under 6 overarching virtues thought to consensually
emerge across cultures & t/o time (wisdom & knowledge, courage, humanity, justice,
temperance, & transcendence)
-The Value in Action inventory of strengths (VIA-IS) is designed to describe the individual
diffs of character strengths on a continuum and not distinct categories
-revised several times & reliable & valid for identifying strengths in adults
-consistent across 4 month period
-evidence on the measures validity includes 3 findings:
1. Nominations of strengths by friends & fam correlate at about a .5 level w matching
scales for most strengths
2. Majority of scales correlates positively w scores on measures of life satisfaction
3. Factor analyses provide some support for the existence of 6 virtues
-6 virtues & 24 strengths
1. Wisdom & knowledge: cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition & use of
knowledge
Creativity
Cuantioso
Open Mindedness
Love of learning
perspective
2. Courage: emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in
the face of opposition, external & internal
Bravery
Persistence
Integrity
vitality
3. Humanity: interpersonal strengths that involve tending & befriending others
Love
Kindness
Social intelligence
4. Justice: civic strengths that underlie healthy community life
Citizenship
Fairness
leadership
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