About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5465-5473
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.2268

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

OBSCIF – A RELIABLE AND VALID OBSERVATIONAL INSTRUMENT FOR MEASURING CHARACTER STRENGTHS

H. Bang1, O. Boe1, D.E. Eilertsen2, F. Nilsen1

1The Norwegian Defence University College (NORWAY)
2Department of Psychology, University of Oslo (NORWAY)
The Norwegian Military Academy (NMA) aims at educating and developing highly skilled military officers, who will be able to cope with difficult and dangerous situations, and execute “in extremis” leadership. Based on Peterson and Seligman’s taxonomy of 24 character strengths, previous studies have identified 12 relevant and important character strengths for succeeding as a military officer, and, hence, to be developed in the army cadets during their three years Bachelor’s degree program at the NMA. These character strengths are leadership, integrity, persistence, bravery, teamwork, fairness, open-mindedness, social intelligence, love of learning, perspective, self-regulation, and creativity.

VIA-IS (Values in Action – Inventory of strengths) is an internationally well-known self-report questionnaire (two forms: 120 items and 240 items) for measuring character strengths. However, there is no observational instrument developed to measure the extent to which these character strengths are displayed in a live setting.

The overall purpose of this study is to develop a valid and reliable observational instrument (OBSCIF – OBServation of Character in Field) for measuring 12 character strengths in field settings. More specifically, this study examines to what extent:
• self-ratings on OBSCIF correlates positively with self-ratings on the questionnaire VIA-IS for measuring character strengths
• different observer sources are consistent in their ratings of the 12 different character strengths
• the items used to measure the 12 different character strengths in OBSCIF show acceptable reliabilities

120 army cadets from the NMA used OBSCIF to evaluate themselves and each other on the 12 character strengths. The self-ratings were done both prior to and immediately after they attended a highly stressful combat fatigue course, consisting of extremely hard physical and psychological challenges, sleep deprivation and little food. Each of the army cadets was also rated on OBSCIF by 8-9 peer cadets from their own squad, and by two supervisors following them 24/7 during the combat fatigue course. In addition, the cadets rated themselves on VIA-IS prior to the field exercise.

We found that the cadets’ “pre field-exercise” scores on OBSCIF and VIA-IS correlated positively and significantly for all twelve character strengths. Peer cadets evaluations after the combat fatigue course were highly consistent, and the supervisors’ ratings correlated strongly with the peer-ratings. Finally, the estimated reliabilities for the twelve character strengths measured with OBSCIF were acceptable.

This study indicates that OBSCIF is a valid and reliable observational instrument for measuring twelve character strengths – both as a self-rating measure and as an observer rating measure in settings were the observers have had a chance to monitor each other closely for a period of time.
@InProceedings{BANG2018OBS,
author = {Bang, H. and Boe, O. and Eilertsen, D.E. and Nilsen, F.},
title = {OBSCIF – A RELIABLE AND VALID OBSERVATIONAL INSTRUMENT FOR MEASURING CHARACTER STRENGTHS},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.2268},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.2268},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {5465-5473}}
TY - CONF
AU - H. Bang AU - O. Boe AU - D.E. Eilertsen AU - F. Nilsen
TI - OBSCIF – A RELIABLE AND VALID OBSERVATIONAL INSTRUMENT FOR MEASURING CHARACTER STRENGTHS
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.2268
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 5465
EP - 5473
ER -
H. Bang, O. Boe, D.E. Eilertsen, F. Nilsen (2018) OBSCIF – A RELIABLE AND VALID OBSERVATIONAL INSTRUMENT FOR MEASURING CHARACTER STRENGTHS, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 5465-5473.
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