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The 24 Universal Character Strengths, in One Graphic

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The 24 Universal Character Strengths, in One Graphic

The 24 Universal Character Strengths

The study of personality is one of the most commonly researched areas in psychology.

In the 1990s, Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Christopher Peterson began examining the best qualities in people. After several years of research, they identified 24 character strengths universally found in everyone. When individuals build on these strengths, research finds, it can improve their quality of life.

This graphic shows the 24 universal strengths from the VIA Institute on Character.

A Closer Look at the 24 Strengths

The VIA’s research grouped 24 universal strengths into six main categories referred to as virtues.

Seligman found that these virtues were seen across cultures and history, and the spectrum of character strengths are a form of living out various virtues.

Interestingly, what they found was that each of these strengths of character can emerge through effort—instead of being fixed qualities found in a person.

CategoryStrengths
🦁 CourageEnthusiasm
Integrity
Bravery
🧠 Knowledge/WisdomCuriosity
Creativity
Open-Mindedness
Love of Learning
Perspective
⚖️ JusticeTeamwork
Fairness
Leadership
🙇‍♂️ TemperanceForgiveness
Humility
Prudence
Self-Control
🌌 TranscendencePurpose
Humor
Optimism
Gratitude
Appreciation of Beauty
🌍 HumanityKindness
Social Intelligence
Love

The above strengths were also shown to be broadly stable in individuals over time. However, the most malleable strengths were humor, prudence, and spirituality.

Increasing hope, zest, love, and curiosity was found to have the strongest impact on boosting life-satisfaction, based on a study of almost 16,000 people.

Separately, studies showed that curiosity and perseverance are shown to be the most predictive for goal-attainment over time, while self-regulation in parents is associated with higher life satisfaction in their children—but not among themselves.

But some studies have noted flaws with the six-virtue model proposed for organizing character strengths, including some fitting into multiple virtues. Instead, there have been propositions for grouping strengths by five factors, four, and even just one factor such as a global character trait.

How Character Strengths Impact Decision-Making

People’s different strengths may also play a role in different types of decision-making.

When examining types of cognitive styles, we can see that some people use analytical reasoning versus decisions based on intuition. Those using an analytical approach have been shown to use things like cost-benefit analysis and rational reasoning. One study shows that people who relied on this style had a stronger correlation to self-control.

By contrast, those who rely on intuition are comparatively more prosocial and were shown to have a higher correlation with caring traits.

Interestingly, leadership traits were shown to be more complex, correlating to both analytical and intuitive decision-making styles.

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Science

Visualizing the Average Lifespans of Mammals

While smaller animals such as weasels typically live 1-2 years, larger counterparts can thrive for decades.

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Infographic depicting the average lifespans of diverse mammals.

Visualizing the Average Lifespans of Mammals

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Mammals, though comprising a small fraction of Earth’s creatures, hold vital ecological roles globally. They are crucial for maintaining ecosystem health through services like pollination, seed dispersal, and predator-prey dynamics.

In this visualization, we depict the average lifespans of mammals, using data from Discover Wildlife and the United Nations.

Human Lifespans on the Rise

Defined as warm-blooded creatures with hair or fur, mammals nurse their young with milk from mammary glands. While smaller animals such as weasels typically live 1-2 years, larger counterparts like elephants can thrive for decades, and bowhead whales can live for 200 years, or even longer.

AnimalAverage lifespan (years)
Weasel1 to 2
Hedgehog3
Wolverine12
Tiger14
Brown bear25
Lowland tapir30
Western gorilla35
Brandt's bat41
Humans (1950)47
Elephant56
Humans (2022)72
Bowhead whale200

Notably, human lifespans have experienced a remarkable surge. According to the UN Population Division, the global average life expectancy has surged from 47 years in 1950 to 72 years in 2022, marking a 25-year increase. This is attributed to advancements in nutrition, medication, and essential resources.

However, as human longevity flourishes, it can have an adverse effect on wildlife mammal populations. To put this into numbers, over the past 100,000 years, the surge in human population has precipitated an 85% reduction in wild mammal biomass.

Today, livestock dominates 62% of the world’s mammal biomass, with humans accounting for 34%, while wild mammals comprise only 4%.

Despite a decline in mammal diversity, the total biomass of terrestrial mammals has significantly increased, expanding approximately ninefold over the past 10,000 years.

Curious to learn more about mammals? Check out this graphic that shows the biomass of all the world’s mammals.

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