What is honesty?

Peterson and Seligman (2004) define honesty as a core virtue of character that involves “speaking the truth and presenting oneself in a genuine way.” Honesty entails being genuine, sincere, and willing to take responsibility for one’s actions.1

The student materials for the AIM Buddy Project have been designed with this core definition in mind and highlight the following related themes:

  • Acting in trustworthy and sincere ways, even when it means that we can’t get something we really want
  • Taking responsibility for our actions
  • Telling the truth, even if it means risking a serious consequence or having someone we care about be upset at us
  • Doing the right thing even if we have the chance to do the wrong thing and not get caught



  1. Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press and Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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