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Privacy Policy

We know that you care how information about you is used and safeguarded. Your responses to questionnaires on this Web site are entirely voluntary and will be used, anonymously, in ongoing research by Dr. Seligman, The VIA Institute on Character, and the creators of the questionnaires. By visiting and completing the questionnaires, you are accepting the practices described in this Privacy Notice.

What We Collect and How We Use It - Registration

During registration, we ask you to tell us a bit about yourself, including your date of birth, your sex, your Zip Code (or your country if you live outside the U.S.), how much formal education you have received, and your occupation. We use these to tell you how your scores on the questionnaires compare to those of others who are like you in age, sex, geographic location, education, and occupation. We also use them to compute statistics for our research on how these factors affect happiness and strengths.

We also ask you, during registration, to give us your e-mail address, the answer to a security question that only you would be likely to know, and a name that you would like to use. These are for your benefit. They make it easier for you to remember how to log in here. They make it possible for us to tell you your password if you forget it. And they help you be sure that you are looking at your own records if you share your computer with another user of this site. We display your name when you log in and include it in your printable My Scores report. If you do not want to share your real name, you can make up a name.

We may also use your e-mail address and name to send out occasional e-mail messages inviting you to participate in other positive psychology research or advising you of new positive psychology resources.

You are not required to give us your real e-mail address or name, but we hope that you will, in case you need any help with your account. To protect your privacy, if we receive a request for information about your account, the response will be sent to the registered address, not the one making the request, unless we can verify that the registered address is an invalid or defective address and that the person making the request is the person who created the account.

What We Collect and How We Use It - Questionnaires

We also collect your responses to the questionnaires on this site and store these, along with your scores, on our database server. We will never report your individual responses or scores to others, except as described below. We will include your scores and responses in reports, publications, lectures, and Web sites only in summaries of groups of site users. We will not include your responses in the comparisons we provide on this site until there are at least 50 surveys from people in the same category (a geographic area, age range, occupational group, etc.).

You are not required to provide us with any of this data, but if you choose to submit the registration form or any of the questionnaires, you must answer all of the questions to receive your scores.

What We Share

Other researchers have allowed us to use their questionnaires on this Web site. In return, we share your responses with them for their own research. They may receive the responses to their questionnaire, plus the age, sex, geographic location, education, and occupation categories of the person who provided them. They do not receive your name or e-mail address.

For the development and maintenance of this Web site, we contract with other organizations that might require access to the data collected on this Web site, solely for the purpose of assisting in the operations of this Web site. These organizations are bound by strict confidentiality requirements.

We may also share this same information with our graduate students and research partners for their own positive psychology research projects. Again, no identifying information will be included.

How We Use Cookies

We will not place any cookies in your browser without your consent. When cookies are allowed they will only be used to manage each session you have at the web site. The cookies make sure that you and only you are able to view your scores, and will never contain any personal information about you. When you close your browser, or log off the site, these cookies will be deleted.

Information Collected from Children

This Web site is not targeted at children under the age of 13. No one under the age of 13 may register to use the site. We include one questionnaire suitable for children ages 8 to 17. It assesses a child's top five strengths and provides a comparison to other children of the same sex and in the same age group. Those who are under age 13 must have a parent, guardian, or other adult authorized by a parent or guardian log in as a registered user to gain access to the questionnaire. We present sample questions before beginning the survey to help parents decide if it is appropriate for their child, and we ask you to select an anonymous screen name for the child to use. This name is used only to label your different children's scores.

We do not ask for the child's name, address, geographic location, e-mail address, or other information that could be used to identify or locate a child, except through you.

Web-Related Information We Collect Automatically

Like almost all Web sites, we automatically collect information on all requests for pages from our Web server. We collect the IP address of your Internet connection (which generally does not identify you unless your Internet service provider has assigned you a static IP address), the type of browser you used, what you requested, and what was sent. This helps us understand usage of the Web site and allows us to produce aggregate statistics on usage.

Security of the Data We Collect

We take reasonable technical, administrative, and physical precautions to keep your information secure. For example, we store your responses in a password-protected database.


We retain the right to change this Privacy Statement. If we do, the revised Privacy Statement would apply only prospectively to future data collected. We will post changes to this page in a prompt manner. This statement is effective as of December 5, 2005.