Research confirms AIESEC leaders’ unique characteristics
ROTTERDAM, January 12, 2007 — A research paper recently presented at the International Positive Psychology Summit in Washington DC, United States, shows that AIESEC members possess distinctive leadership strengths.
The research study conducted by David J. Pollay, Founder and President of the Momentum Project and Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, backs up the claim that AIESEC has been making since its inception in 1948—that its members develop strong and unique leadership characteristics.
Recognized by the United Nations as the largest student organization in the world, AIESEC offers 5000 leadership opportunities on local, national, and international level to its 22,000 members annually. By providing the international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential to have positive impact in society, AIESEC’s members are offered unparallel experiences for leadership development.
Pollay’s research shows that AIESEC leaders possess distinct leadership characteristics when compared to the peers their age and education. It strengthens the argument of how AIESEC has been – and still is – developing leaders with unique set of strengths valued across culture.
David J. Pollay, Founder and President of the Momentum Project and Master of Applied Positive Psychology and AIESEC alumni.
“AIESEC leaders scored significantly higher than their peers on the dimension of hope, curiosity, perseverance, leadership, teamwork, fairness, zest, bravery, forgiveness, and perspective,” said Pollay, an AIESEC alumni himself.
Sixty-two national presidents of AIESEC or their recently elected successors – who was elected by the general membership of their country to serve for one year – took part in the research. All of whom are young adults, 48 of them have a university degree.
Participants were asked to do questionnaire based on the VIA-IS (Values In Action Inventory of Strengths) test on-line. VIA-IS is a 240-item self-report questionnaire that uses a five-point Likert scale to measure the degree to which respondents endorse strength-relevant statements about themselves. The score of the AIESEC sample were compared to 17,400 respondents of the same age and education in the United States.
The test developed by Dr. Christopher Peterson, and Dr. Martin E.G. Seligman in 2001, two of the most notable researchers on Positive Psychology. The same test has been taken by more than 600,000 people around the world to measure their leadership strengths profile.
David Pollay’s research paper was presented in the 2006 Gallup International Positive Psychology Summit in Washington DC, the United States. Positive Psychology seeks discoveries of how individuals might lead a more positive and productive life around their strengths.
[Picture: David J. Pollay, Founder and President of the Momentum Project and Master of Applied Positive Psychology and AIESEC alumni.]