Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



A study of 6156 respondents to an online survey measuring their character strengths and virtues twice over a period of time suggests that an increase in virtue may be linked not only to eudemonic happiness, but to the hedonic as well. Happy people see more growth in character strengths than their less happy counterparts. This relationship is particularly strong for the virtues robustly associated with life satisfaction (gratitude, zest, love, curiosity, optimism/hope) and wisdom. Conversely those who are depressed and experience more negative affect see a greater decline in character strengths. The findings support the Broaden and Build theory (Fredrickson, 2001), in that the character strengths that broadened mindsets and behavioral repertoires are more affected by the subjective well-being. This may suggest an alternative approach to character development. Encouraging happiness and positive affect at the beginning of the process, may “prime” the individual for the change they wish to make happen.


Character Strength, Virtue, Personal Growth, Well-Being, Happiness, Positive Emotions



Date Posted: 24 January 2012