Can you guess America’s character … weaknesses? culture—like very person—is a combination of strengths and weaknesses. We know that the top character strengths in America include kindness, fairness, honesty and gratitude.

What are our weaknesses?
What would you guess?

The weakest character strengths in America are in the general area of temperance, the strengths that protect against excess. Of the 24 types of character strengths examined in the global survey we’re relying on this week, the three weakest ones for Americans are: modesty, prudence, and self-regulation.

The good (or bad) news is that America is not alone. Modesty, prudence, and self-regulation are pretty weak around the world, sitting at or near the bottom of the list of 24 character strengths for most of the 54 nations in the survey. The few exceptions include nations like Bahrain, Iceland, and Poland, where prudence is somewhat stronger.

Americans do a little better with the character strength of forgiveness, which also comes under the general category of temperance. In America, it ranks #15 out of the 24 possible character strengths.

Are you surprised to by America’s character weaknesses?

Do you agree that these three are weak in America?

What other character weaknesses do you see?

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Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue.

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