Donald O. Clifton

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Donald O. Clifton (February 5, 1924, in Butte, Nebraska[1] – September 14, 2003)[2] was an American psychologist. He received a commendation from the American Psychological Association in 2003 in which he is depicted as "the father of Strengths-Based Psychology and the grandfather of Positive Psychology".[2][3] He developed the eponymous Clifton StrengthsFinder, Gallup’s online psychological assessment. Clifton was professor of educational psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1950 to 1969[2] when he founded Selection Research, Inc. (SRI) that grew to the point where in 1988 it acquired the Gallup Organization and took on the older company’s name.[4] Clifton was a World War II veteran and recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.[1]

Published works[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Clifton Strengths School". Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Dr Donald O. Clifton". Find A Grave. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ Lopez, Shane J. (2015). Positive Psychology The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths. Sage Publications. p. 66 (2nd ed.). ISBN 9781452276434. Retrieved January 28, 2015. ... [Clifton] became the father of Strengths-Based Psychology and the grandfather of Positive Psychology [per footnote citing text of 2003 APA commendation] 
  4. ^ Buckingham, Marcus (2012). "Strengths Campus History". Strengths Campus. Retrieved June 15, 2012.