Are Character Strengths Universal? Evidence From Pakistani Context
06 Sep, 2022
11 Aug, 2023
30 Sep, 2023
Character strengths as positive attributes have been valued universally and theorized to improve the functioning of individuals and society. Considering their importance in positive psychology and the assertion of the VIA framework about the ubiquity of character strengths, the present study tried to investigate the universality of character strengths in Pakistan. Moreover, the role of gender and age in possession of character strengths was examined. For this purpose, a sample of 497 participants (Mage = 27.41 years, SDage = 8.41) from Pakistani adults was taken. Participants provided information regarding the possession of character strengths. Results showed that character strengths were prevalent in Pakistani participants as indicated by the mean scores of all character strengths. Honesty, kindness, fairness, spirituality, and gratitude emerged as the top-ranked character strengths. Rank profile of current data strongly converged with the rank profile of the pre-existing Pakistani sample and moderately converged with the rank profile of the pre-existing US sample (McGrath, 2015). Moreover, the results showed that men scored significantly higher than women on creativity and curiosity whereas women scored significantly higher than men on honesty, gratitude, and spirituality. Lastly, the possession of five character strengths (i.e., creativity, perspective, bravery, perseverance, and gratitude) significantly differed among participants of different age groups. All the findings supported the notion of the VIA framework about the universality of character strengths across cultures as well as the specificity of ranking in a particular culture.
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