Virtuousness among adolescents has received heightened attention from educators and parents. Given the importance of cultivating positive behaviors in cyberspace, researchers explored virtues that encourage adolescents to pursue positive personal values and social charity to see if these could foster positive behaviors and improve experiences online.
To measure the underlying dimensions of young adolescents’ virtuous behaviors online, researchers created the Cyber Virtues Scale (CVS), a questionnaire that explores the scope of virtues in cyberspace and scores self-reported behaviors. They identified actual cyber virtues by surveying 758 parents and 750 teachers and came up with a list of qualities that included: law-abidance, respect, self-regulation, courtesy, honesty, responsibility, lifelong learning, care, justice, and cooperation. They then distributed questionnaires to 635 elementary and junior high school students throughout Taiwan to examine students’ practice of virtues in cyber contexts.
Their analysis defined five factors as core virtues that are important in both cyberspace and positive psychology: interpersonal interaction, knowledge accumulation, social justice, information sharing, and self-discipline. Researchers encourage educators to use the CVS to inspire young adolescents to practice these virtues in cyberspace. They hope that this will lead children to change their attitudes and behaviors so that online spaces will allow young adolescents to enjoy a more positive and meaningful cyber life.
Chang, C.-M., Hung, M.-L., Lu, J.-L., & Chou, C. (2018). The virtues of Taiwanese internet-using adolescents: The development and validation of the Cyber Virtues Scale.Educational Technology & Society, 21(1), 104–111.Image: via Pixabay