What are your top five strengths? In the last ten years psychologists have done a lot of research into the character qualities and strengths that help people feel happy and satisfied with their lives. There’s been a similar emphasis on the personality traits that help students succeed in school by remaining engaged and motivated to learn over an extended period of time. Traits like optimism, curiosity, social intelligence, and enthusiasm are just a few of the character traits that have shown to lead to satisfied lives.

This eight minute film by Tiffany Shlain and The Moxie Institute Films explores how people can strengthen good character traits by appreciating the positive qualities of others and oneself. It discusses the neuroscience behind a strong character, emphasizing that character is not a fixed quality, but rather something that can grow, change and ultimately improve happiness and satisfaction.

Dig deeper into the science of character with these resources from the filmmaker, including discussion questions and activities.

The Science of Character: Developing Positive Learning Traits 19 March,2014Katrina Schwartz

  • Thanks for sharing this! I am working on a book about recognizing and improving good character traits in oneself and others. I look forward to more interesting thoughts about the science of character.


Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She’s worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She’s a staff writer for KQED’s education blog MindShift.

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