Motivation for and commitment to social values: The roles of age and gender

Motivation and Emotion (Impact Factor: 1.55). 12/2010; 34(4):354-362. DOI: 10.1007/s11031-010-9187-4


The primary aim of this study was to examine how motives and commitment to social values influence well-being in men and women
of different ages. College students and older adults in the community reported on their motivational orientation (intrinsic
vs. extrinsic), behavioral commitment to idiographic social values, and their current well-being (satisfaction with life,
positive and negative affect). We tested a series of path models with motivational orientation mediating the relationship
between commitment to values and well-being. Consistent with self-determination theory, we found that behavioral commitment
to intrinsically motivating social values was related to greater life satisfaction and positive affect, whereas being committed
to extrinsically motivating values was related to greater negative affect. While age and gender did not moderate these relationships,
meaningful age and gender differences emerged across value-based motivations, commitment, and indices of well-being. This
work adds to our understanding of how values are a guiding influence for successful navigation of one’s social world.

KeywordsValues-Intrinsic motivation-Self-determination-Happiness-Life satisfaction-Positive emotion-Negative emotion

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    • "our sample consisted exclusively of college students who, compared to older adults, may have been particularly sensitive to the metacognitive task of generating behaviors that their peers value. Indeed, research has shown that compared to older adults, college students report greater extrinsic motivation for values (Ferssizidis et al., 2010). Future research should assess whether the present effects generalize to populations beyond college-aged adults. "
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    • "When interviewed on gender-related beliefs and roles, in their responses college students attributed the following abilities to males – athletically and mechanically gifted, good at grasping economics, good observers and possess intellectual excellence, a good grasp of science , theoretical understanding, common sense, expertise, and professional skills. For females they attributed these qualities – possess social skills, an understanding of interpersonal relationships, appreciation of art, domestic skills, satire appreciation , and physical appearance (Center 1971cited byBruessthat affect our daily decisions and lay the foundation for us to have meaning and purpose (Ferssizidis et al. 2010). According toDavidov and colleagues (2008)values are deeply-established attitudes, norms, ideas and actions that guide, arrange or explain abstract motives. "
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    • "Initially the variable 'income' was also selected, however it was discarded because of the high number of missing values in both datasets, which reduced considerably the size of the samples for the subsequent analysis. Age and education were selected as control variables because of their impact on social values (Ferssizidis et al., 2010; for education, albeit in the context of social capital (including generalized trust) see Huang, Maassen van den Brink and Groot, 2009). "

    Full-text · Chapter · Apr 2015
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