About Us

In Greek, Charassein means to engrave, scratch, or etch and is the root of the English word character.

The Character Assessment Initiative (Charassein) is a collaborative research effort which seeks to improve the ways scholars measure character skills and to better understand how character skills are developed. In particular, we are currently researching the possibilities of two innovative approaches to obtaining improved measures of character skills: (1) Measures of survey and test effort as proxy measures of character skills and (2) Adjustments to self-reported measures of character skills through anchoring vignettes methods. In addition, we are investigating how character skills might be shaped by different school experiences.

Social science is drawing upon the insights of personality psychology. Research in economics and education reveals that character skills such as grit and self-regulation are important to well-being. However, less is known about how character skills can be developed. Researchers also face the challenge of how character skills can be measured. The use of self-reported surveys to measure character skills is known to have serious limitations.

Charassein is based in the University of Arkansas’ Department of Education Reform. Original research, data, and measurement tools for character skills research are available on our website.