Clifton StrengthsFinder

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The Clifton StrengthsFinder is a strengths-based measure of individual emotional, cognitive, and social skills and talents.

Main constructs measured

Intrapersonal competencies; Interpersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels

Ages 15 to adult

Publication year for the most recent version


Year originally developed


Related measures
Measure Administration


Method of administration


Number of items


Item format

Five-point Likert-type scale

Administration time

60 minutes

Available languages


Fee for use Fee charged by developer

Contact publisher for costs. See link below to obtain a copy of the measure.

Credentials required for administration


Overall score reporting

Talents and strengths are measured in 34 themes (see below). Themes are rank-ordered, and respondents receive a "Top 5" report of their highest ranking talent themes. More detailed information is available for purchase from the test developer.

Subscore reporting

There are 34 distinct themes. Examples include "Achiever," "Command," "Empathy," and "Self-assurance." The technical report contains detailed information about the definition of each talent.

Scoring procedures

Scoring service is provided by the assessment developers.

Interpretive information

More detailed reports can be purchased. Action items (steps that can be taken to build and develop strengths) are available, as are standard scores and percentiles.

Evidence of Technical Quality
Populations for which technical quality evidence has been collected

Technical information from a sample of nearly 500,000 respondents (Asplund, Lopez, Hodges & Harter, 2007). Asplund et al. (2007) also document a number of other of studies exploring the technical properties of the StrengthsFinder, all using different samples.

Reliability evidence

The internal consistency reliability (Coefficient alpha) ranged from 0.50 to 0.75 across the 34 themes (Asplund et al., 2007).

The test-retest reliability with an interval of eight to 12 weeks ranged from 0.52 to 0.81 (Asplund et al., 2007).

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
Items were developed based on relevant theory and were selected for inclusion based on expert review (Asplund et al., 2007).
Evidence based on response processes
Because some items are included in two themes, there was some concern about ipsativity: that is, that scoring an item for one theme "forces" the scoring for another theme. However, because only 30% of total items in the inventory are included in more than one theme, and because there was variability in the means and standard deviations of the theme scores, it was judged that ipsativity did not pose a substantial issue with the Clifton StrengthFinder.
Evidence based on internal structure
Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to assess internal structure and showed that items within themes tended to cluster together into distinct groups (Asplund et al., 2007).
Evidence based on relations with other variables
Relationships between the CSF subscale scores and scores on personality assessments measuring the "big five" were consistent with expectations (Harter & Hodges, 2003; Schreiner, 2006). As one example, Discipline theme scores correlated 0.81 with a Big Five measure of conscientiousness.
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure

Asplund, J., Lopez, S. J., Hodges, T., Harter, J. Asplund, J., Lopez, S. J., Hodges, T., Harter, J. , "The Clifton StrengthsFinder® 2.0 technical report: Development and validation," The Gallup Organization, 2007.

Harter, J. K., & Hodges, T. D. , "Construct validity study: StrengthsFinder and the Five Factor Model," The Gallup Organization, 2003.


Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.