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Differences between Values of Australian Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Students


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In this study, the Values Questionnaire developed by Schwartz and Bilsky was used to examine differences in the values held by a group of Aboriginal university students and a group of non-Aboriginal students studying at an Australian university. Results indicated that the Aboriginal group placed greater emphasis on values associated with Tradition, Conformity, and Security and significantly less emphasis on values associated with Achievement, Self-direction, Stimulation, Hedonism, and Benevolence. These data, in conjunction with a separate analysis of the ten highest ranked values for each group, support the view that the main differences between the groups lie in values serving collective (Aboriginal) as opposed to individual (non-Aboriginal) interests. These findings are consistent with previous research on the worldview of traditional Aboriginal people, and they suggest that even among younger, more Westernised representatives of this culture collective values are likely to be strong determinants of behaviour.
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Differences Between Values of Australian Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Students
Gerard J. Fogarty and Colin White,
University of Southern Queensland
We wish to thank the students - particularly those from Kumbari/Ngurpai Lag - for
participating in this study. We also wish to acknowledge the contribution of unknown
reviewers who made very helpful suggestions after reading an earlier version of this paper.
Full reference: Fogarty, G., & White, C. (1994). Difference between values of Australian
Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal students. Journal of Cross Cultural
Psychology, 25 (3), 394-408
Values of Australian Aboriginal Students 2
In this study, the Values Questionnaire developed by Schwartz and Bilsky (1987, 1990) was
used to examine differences in the values held by a group of Aboriginal university students
(N=112) and a group of non-Aboriginal students (N=106) studying at an Australian
university. Results indicated that the Aboriginal group placed greater emphasis on values
associated with Tradition, Conformity and Security and significantly less emphasis on values
associated with Achievement, Self-direction, Stimulation, Hedonism and Benevolence. These
data, in conjunction with a separate analysis of the ten highest ranked values for each group,
support the view that the main differences between the groups lie in values serving collective
(Aboriginal) as opposed to individual (non-Aboriginal) interests. These findings are
consistent with previous research (eg. Christie, 1987) on the world view of traditional
Aboriginal people and suggest that even among younger, more "Westernised",
representatives of this culture, collective values are likely to be strong determinants of
Values of Australian Aboriginal Students 3
Differences Between Values Held by Australian Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Students
The impact of Aboriginal students in Australian universities began to be felt in the mid
to late 1980's as the Australian government took steps to increase the participation rates of
Aborigines in higher education. During this period of expanded educational opportunity,
however, little systematic attempt was made to understand the values of the culture from
which these students came, or to determine the extent to which the students themselves held
values which might be at odds with modern educational aims. The present study attempted to
fill this gap in our understanding by firstly reviewing what is known about traditional
Australian Aboriginal values and, secondly, by sampling the values of Aboriginal students
participating in a Western-based higher education system and comparing these values with
those held by a comparable group of non-Aboriginal students.
Researchers in cross-cultural psychology have long stressed the role of cultural outlook
in educational achievement. Levi-Strauss (1962/66), certainly a pioneer in cross-cultural
studies of cognition, spoke of "magic" and "science" as two parallel ways of acquiring
knowledge which are valued differently by different societies. Vernon (1976) proposed that
a major part of cultural differences rests on differences in motivation. Goodnow (1976)
reminded us that our definitions of what is "good" are based upon our own particular system
of values, not necessarily shared by other cultures. Berry (1984) demonstrated that cultural
groups differ on dimensions such as preference for holistic rather than analytic problem
solving strategies and preference for collective discussion as opposed to individual reflection
as the basis for decision making. Berry (1988) further drew our attention to the importance of
these background factors when he argued that a special effort should be made to understand
cultural values and goals for cognitive development before trying to assess competence in
any non-Western community. By and large, this has not happened for the Australian
Aborigines. As Christie (1985) has asserted, educating Aboriginal people through formal
schooling has been largely a matter of imposing the Western world view upon the Aboriginal
In examining traditional Aboriginal culture, the concept of world-view often emerges.
Although different definitions exist, a world-view can be considered as the set of ideas and
beliefs which a group of people hold about the world and the people and things in it (Christie,
1987). In examining differences between Aboriginal and White Australian society,
researchers are often struck by the large differences and contrasts in world-view held by the
two societies. Christie (1985) noted in particular the emphasis placed in Aboriginal culture
upon qualities and personal relationships and responsiveness to the environment. Survival
depends on cooperation and coexistence. Harris (1988) found evidence of five major
differences between the cultures. These differences were in the following areas: a)
Aborigines view knowledge as owned, or looked after, by particular people whereas in
Western society knowledge is freely available to those who choose to seek it; b) the
Aboriginal culture places a greater emphasis on the quality of personal relationships; c)
Aborigines have a more passive view of the environment, preferring to adapt to it rather than
manipulating it to suit themselves; d) the Aboriginal view of the world is essentially a
religious one, as opposed to Western 'scientific' viewpoints; e) the Aboriginal world view
holds that most of the major changes have already taken place and that a perfectly good
social system already exists - this again is opposed to Western concepts of progress,
development, change and control.
These descriptions of world view paint an interesting picture of traditional Aboriginal
society but what do they tell us about the values of students, now somewhat removed from
this context? Although writers such as Christie and Harris were careful to confine their
Values of Australian Aboriginal Students 4
observations in relation to world-views to the more traditional communities in which they
worked, they also suggested that there are significant continuities within all Aboriginal
groups in Australia (Christie, 1985, Harris, 1990). If this is the case, Aboriginal university
students should exhibit value profiles which are compatible with the world views attributed to
their traditional culture. Other lines of research suggest that this might be the case. Berry
(1970) used the term "marginals" to describe Aborigines caught between cultures. He found
that people in this situation tend to reaffirm or retain traditional values. Dawson (1969), in
research with groups of semi-traditional, semi-modern, and modern Aborigines, reported that
Aborigines in all groups showed a tendency to retain their traditional character and resist the
adoption of Western values.
These latter researchers were, of course, talking about "values" rather than "world
views", but the two are not so different. In many ways the values framework is probably a
more familiar setting for cross-cultural research on aspects of cognition. Kearney and
Fitzpatrick (1976), in reviewing research on social change amongst Aboriginal Australians,
observed that much of the literature emphasises the crucial role of a person's individual value
system in shaping the direction of change -towards assimilation or towards ethnicity. Feather
(1986) described a long-standing cross-cultural research programme based in Australia which
has used Rokeach's Value Survey (RVS) as its main psychometric instrument. In more recent
times, this programme has adopted the Values Questionnaire (Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987,
1990), a derivation of the (RVS), for its investigation of cross-cultural value differences
(Feather, Volkmer, & McKee; 1992). This was also the instrument chosen for the present
study and some comments on its derivation are warranted.
Schwartz (1991) describes values as terms that point to the important human goals or
motivations about which people communicate. In developing a theory of a universal
psychological structure of human values, Schwartz and Bilsky (1987, 1990) proposed that
there were three universal human requirements to which all individuals and societies must be
responsive. These were (a) needs of individuals as biological organisms, (b) requisites of
coordinated social interaction, and (c) survival and welfare needs of groups. They further
contended that these requirements must be represented cognitively, taking the form of values
and that through socialisation and developmental processes, individuals learn to represent the
requirements as conscious goals and values and to attribute varying degrees of importance to
them (Schwartz and Bilsky, (1990).
Early research by Schwartz and Bilsky (1987, 1990) had identified eight distinct
motivational values which could be derived from the three universal human requirements.
Further research (Schwartz, 1991), utilising a newly developed 56 item questionnaire, yielded
a number of additional motivational values resulting in ten, possibly eleven, distinct
motivational categories. This revision was based on the analyses of interrelations among 56
values in 40 samples across 20 countries. In a more recent revision of the theory, Schwartz
(1992) settled upon 11 dimensions. The motivational types and associated values of the
revised theory are as follows:
1. Self-Direction (creativity, freedom, choosing own goals, curiosity, independence);
2. Stimulation (variety, excitement);
3. Hedonism (pleasure, enjoyment of life);
4 Achievement (ambition, success, capability, influence intelligent);
5. Power (authority, wealth, social power, public image, social recognition);
6. Security (social order, family security, national security, reciprocation of favours,
cleanliness, sense of belonging, healthy);
7. Conformity (obedience, self-discipline, politeness, honouring parents and elders);
Values of Australian Aboriginal Students 5
8. Tradition (respect for tradition, humility, devoutness, acceptance of one's portion in
life, moderation);
9. Benevolence (helpfulness, loyalty, forgiveness, honesty, responsibility, truth,
friendship, mature love);
10. Universalism (broadmindedness, social justice, equality, world at peace, unity with
nature, wisdom, protection of the environment);
11. Spirituality (spirituality; meaning in life, sense of inner harmony, sense of
Quite clearly, there is considerable conceptual overlap in the usage of "values" and
"world view". Some researchers (eg. Graves, 1967) have actually interpreted "world view" in
terms of value systems. At the individual item level, and perhaps at scale level as well, the
Values Questionnaire appears to capture much of what has been discussed under the heading
of "world view". The views attributed to the Aborigines by Christie (1985) and Harris (1988)
would seem to be captured by types 6-11 in the above list, what Schwartz & Bilsky (1990)
would refer to as "collective" (Hofstede, 1980) values. Types 1-5 reflect "individualistic"
values and these are markedly absent in the descriptions given by Christie and Harris of
traditional Aboriginal society.
The "world view" and "values" approaches offered two different ways of studying the
values of students, each with associated advantages and disadvantages. An approach based on
analysis of world views offered continuity with previous research with Aboriginal
communities but appeared unsuited for distinguishing groups that may not be anywhere near
the extreme positions described by Christie and Harris. The values approach is not limited in
this way. For the purposes of this project, it had a number of other advantages: a) the
conceptualisation of values, as operationalized in the Values Questionnaire, covered a wider
range of value/motivational constructs than the dimensions referred to in the world-view
literature; b) it offered benchmarks for unselected Australian samples (Feather, Volkmer &
McKee; 1992) as well as data on numerous other cultures; c) the Values Questionnaire lends
itself quite readily to quantitative applications, an important long-term consideration in the
overall research programme of which this study forms one part. For these reasons, it was
adopted as the framework for the present investigation of the value systems of Aboriginal
Australian university students.
A total of 112 Aboriginal and 106 non-Aboriginal (otherwise unselected) students
studying at the University of Southern Queensland participated in the experiment. The
Aboriginal students were predominantly from rural, semi-urban and urban environments with
very few, if any, from what could be considered traditional Aboriginal communities. The
majority of these students had spent at least 10 years in Australian primary and secondary
schools prior to enrolment in the university. Despite their largely non-traditional background,
the students tended to identify strongly with their Aboriginality The non-Aboriginal sample
was predominantly of Anglo-Saxon origin. Data was collected largely in the first Semester
during 1991 and 1992. Subjects were enrolled in a variety of courses including Psychology,
Nursing, Education, Management and Arts. Non-Aboriginal students received a 1% credit
toward a Foundation Psychology unit they were undertaking for completing the Values
Questionnaire. Aboriginal students other than those undertaking psychology units did not
receive credit and were asked individually to participate by one of the experimenters The sex
composition in both groups was predominately female with males comprising 37.7% of the
Values of Australian Aboriginal Students 6
Aboriginal group and 25.5% of the non-Aboriginal group. The mean age for the Aboriginal
group was 26.96 years and for the non-Aboriginal group 24.54 years.
The Schwartz Value Survey (SVS) developed by Schwartz and Bilsky (1987, 1990)
and modified by Schwartz (1992) was used. As used in this study, the Questionnaire simply
required each respondent to rate the importance of each of 56 values as guiding principles in
their lives.
Subjects collected the questionnaire, completed it in their own time, and returned it to
the experimenter, usually one day later.
In order to control for possible response sets associated with the use of the rating
procedures, raw data were transformed using a procedure recommended by Bond (1988) and
Feather (1992). This involved converting each subject's ratings for the 56 values to standard
scores based on that subject's distribution of ratings. Mean standardised item ratings were
then obtained for all 11 scales. Means, standard deviations, and reliabilities for all scales are
presented in Table 1. The reliability estimates were calculated from the untransformed data.
Values of Australian Aboriginal Students 7
Table 1
Descriptive Statistics for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Samples
Aboriginal Students
Value Domain Mean S.D. Reliability N of Items
Achievement .06 .38 .60 5
Power -.89 .57 .72 5
Self-Direction .18 .37 .63 5
Benevolence .34 .36 .69 7
Tradition -.45 .48 .59 5
Conformity .36 .42 .46 4
Universalism .21 .34 .73 8
Security .20 .30 .47 7
Spirituality -.17 .50 .57 4
Stimulation -.40 .67 .64 3
Hedonism -.05 .64 .46 2
Demographic Vars
Age 26.96
Years schooling 11.01
Non-Aboriginal Students
Value Domain Mean S.D. Reliability N of Items
Achievement .22 .42 .75 5
Power -.96 .55 .72 5
Self-Direction .36 .39 .69 5
Benevolence .48 .28 .73 7
Tradition -.78 .52 .53 5
Conformity -.06 .41 .65 4
Universalism .21 .41 .81 8
Security .13 .34 .67 7
Spirituality -.14 .55 .52 4
Stimulation -.16 .60 .64 3
Hedonism .20 .62 .61 2
Demographic Vars
Age 24.54
Years schooling 13.16
The main aim of the project was to test for differences between groups but it was also
important to see whether these were affected by sex. Accordingly, a 2 x 2 (Group by Sex)
between groups analysis of variance was conducted on all 11 scales of the Values Survey
using the MANOVA procedures from SPSS/PC+. Seven cases were rejected from the
analysis due to missing data. The interaction term was not significant (F
= .90, p = .54)
but main effects for group (F
= 6.8, p = .00) and sex (F
= 2.49, p = .01) were both
significant. Univariate F tests for group differences are shown in Table 2.
Values of Australian Aboriginal Students 8
Table 2
Univariate F-tests for Group Differences.
Variable F (df = 1, 207)
p Value
Achievement 8.07 .005
Power 0.77 .382
Self-Direction 13.00 .000
Benevolence 10.37 .001
Tradition 22.45 .000
Conformity 37.15 .000
Universalism 0.07 .796
Security 4.99 .027
Spirituality 0.22 .640
Stimulation 8.55 .004
Hedonism 7.95 .005
It can be seen that the Aboriginal group scored more highly on Tradition, Conformity, and
Security. It had lower scores on Achievement, Self Direction, Benevolence, Stimulation and
Hedonism. Further indications of value differences between the groups can be gained by
looking at rankings of the ten most highly rated items for each group. These are shown in
Table 3.
Table 3
Mean Ratings of the Ten Highest Ranked Values for Each Group
Aboriginal Students Non-Aboriginal Students
Rank Value Mean Rank Value Mean
1 Family Security 6.07 1 Family Security 5.71
2 Honouring Parents 5.86 2 True Friendship 5.67
3 Healthy 5.62 3 Healthy 5.64
4 Honest 5.59 4 Self-Respect 5.59
5 Choosing own goals 5.47 5 Choosing own goals 5.49
6 True Friendship 5.46 6 Inner Harmony 5.45
7 Self-Respect 5.43 7 Honest 5.43
8 Equality 5.41 8 Freedom 5.37
9 Politeness 5.36 9 Mature Love 5.33
10 Social Justice 5.33 10 Successful 5.33
Examination of this table indicates that Family Security was the most highly rated item
for both groups. Five other values are common to both lists, although their rankings are not
identical. The four unique items in the list of the Aboriginal group were Honouring Parents,
Equality, Politeness, and Social Justice. The four unique items in the list of the non-
Aboriginal group were Inner Harmony, Freedom, Mature Love, and Successful.
As mentioned previously, there was also a significant effect for sex. Standardised scale
means and univariate F tests for these data are presented in Table 4.
Values of Australian Aboriginal Students 9
Table 4
Standardised Scale Means and Univariate F tests for Sex (df = 1,207)
Variable Male Female F value p Value
(N = 69) (N = 149)
Achievement .13 .14 .035 .853
Power -.86 -.95 .476 .491
Self-direction .25 .28 .000 .988
Benevolence .34 .44 1.915 .168
Tradition -.53 -.65 1.083 .299
Conformity .26 .11 3.325 .073
Universalism .22 .21 .036 .849
Security .10 .20 7.190 .008
Spirituality -.27 -.11 4.827 .029
Stimulation -.16 -.34 5.774 .017
Hedonism .13 .05 1.795 .182
These univariate tests show that males valued Stimulation more highly than females but
that females placed higher values on Security and Spirituality.
An important question that needs to be addressed is whether the data obtained are
reliable. Internal consistency estimates (Cronbach's alpha) are shown in Table 1. The figures
for the non-Aboriginal group range from 0.53 to 0.81 and, with the exception of three scales,
are either equal to or greater than those reported by Feather et al. (1992) for an unselected
Australian sample. The estimates for the Aboriginal group are generally less than those for
the non-Aboriginal group, with estimates ranging from 0.46 to 0.73. With small numbers of
items in each of the scales, these internal consistency estimates are not surprising but they are
a warning that some of the underlying dimensions may not be well-represented by scale
It would be unwise to base all conclusions stemming from this study on between-group
comparisons. In the present study, significant differences have arisen mostly as a matter of
degree, rather than direction, of values held. Accordingly, results for each group are first
discussed separately and, where possible, anchored to outside findings so that some estimate
can be made of the stability of these data.
Taking the Aboriginal data by itself, the first point to note about the scale scores is that
the Aboriginal group held values that conformed to some extent with those associated with
what Schwartz et al. (1990) described as "collectivist", as opposed to "individualistic", aims.
The evidence for this lies in the higher ratings awarded to Benevolence (0.34) and
Conformity (0.36) and the relatively lower ratings they awarded to Power (-.89). Additional
evidence comes from Table 3 where nine of the ten most highly ranked values for this group
support the collectivist tendency.
When the data for the non-Aboriginal group is considered, a picture emerges of a group
that mixed both collective and individualistic values. Power (-.96), Benevolence (.48) and
Universalism (.21) support a collectivist orientation but these are offset to some extent by
Values of Australian Aboriginal Students 10
Achievement (.22), Self Direction (.36), Tradition (-.78) and Hedonism (.20). Further
evidence can be found in Table 3 where three of the individualistic items found their way into
the top ten rankings. These results support earlier findings that both individualistic and
collective values are seen as important by Australians (Feather et al., 1992). Indeed, the
standardised mean value scores for this group are remarkably similar to those reported by
Feather et al. for their unselected sample with an average difference between the two data
sets of just 0.08. They are virtually identical. There is every reason to suppose that the non-
Aboriginal group used in the present study is reasonably representative of the general student
body and can serve as a comparison group.
Between group comparisons (Table 2) showed that Aboriginal students rated Tradition,
Conformity and Security values higher than did the non-Aboriginal students. Values
associated with Conformity, Tradition and Security tend to serve collective interests and are
largely concerned with stability of society and close-knit harmonious relations where the
interest of the person is not viewed as distinct from those of the group (Schwartz, 1992).
Tradition values also imply a respect, commitment and acceptance of the customs and ideas
that one's culture imposes on the self. The greater concern for Security could well reflect the
uncertain position of the Aboriginal in Australian society. A very small part of the population
(1.5%), the Aboriginal people have struggled to find their place in modern Australia. The
finding that Aboriginal students had significantly lower scores on Achievement, Self-
direction, Stimulation and Hedonism suggests a less-ready acceptance or endorsement of
individualistic type values. Values associated with Achievement, Self-direction, Stimulation
and Hedonism tend to serve individual interests and are concerned with desires for mastery,
openness to change, arousal, esteem and social superiority (Schwartz, 1992).
An examination of the mean ratings of the ten highest ranked values for each group (see
Table 3) reinforces the impression gained from the separate group analysis: basically, both
groups see the same things as being important with a somewhat greater intrusion of
individualistic values in the list of the non-Aboriginal groups. There were four items in the
Aboriginal students' list which were not in the other list (Honouring Parents, Equality,
Politeness and Social Justice); they were all to do with collective values. Of the four items
which were unique to the non-Aboriginal list, two supported individualistic orientations
(Freedom and Success). These findings tend to support what is known about Aboriginals and
non-Aboriginals from previous research. Feather (1980), using the Rokeach Value Survey,
compared a sample of "White" Australians with a sample of Papua New Guineans and found
that the former showed greater relative concerns with affiliative values and values relating to
fulfilment and self-definition; the Papua New Guineans showed concern for equality,
security, comfort, peace, obedience, ambition, and the welfare of others. There is a similar
differentiation between the populations sampled in the present study. Eckermann (1973),
working with a sample of Aboriginals from the same region as that used here, reported that
Aborigines are strongly group-oriented and lack "initiative". The present research shows that
they are group-oriented and that they do not value personal achievement as much as non-
One of the aims of this study was to look for evidence of continuity between the value
systems of Aboriginal students and those attributed to traditional Aboriginal culture on the
basis of studies of world view. These studies had portrayed the Aborigines as being
concerned with maintenance of social order, showing preference for religious as opposed to
scientific explanations, favouring collective as opposed to individual effort (eg. Harris, 1988).
The present finding that Aboriginal students favour collective over individual interests lends
support to the contention that there are significant continuities in regard to value orientation
within all Aboriginal groups (Christie, 1985, 1988; Harris 1988; 1990). The Aboriginal
Values of Australian Aboriginal Students 11
students who participated in this study came largely from rural towns and cities throughout
Queensland, Northern Territory and Northern N.S.W. and in the main, could not be
considered as originating from traditional Aboriginal communities. Yet there can be no doubt
that they retain many traditional values, although perhaps in weakened form. The present
group is collectively minded, but not in an extreme way. Nowhere is this more clearly
illustrated than in the rating of Tradition. The Aboriginal students rated it more highly than
the non-Aboriginal students but it was one of the lowest rated values for both groups. This
may be one instance where there is a discontinuity between traditional Aboriginal values and
the values held by Aboriginal students.
Again, previous findings using different instruments lend support to these conclusions.
Kearney and Fitzpatrick (1976) studied samples of Aboriginal Australians from some of the
same localities used here. Their samples varied in the degree of assimilation and integration
into Western culture. They found that the more acculturated sample, defined in terms of
extent of city versus rural dwelling, had shifted towards Western values. The university
students who participated in the present study held similar values to the highly acculturated
sample reported by Kearney and Fitzpatrick. This was a little surprising given that "highly
acculturated" in their study simply meant "city dwelling". The university students might have
been expected to show an even greater shift to Western values. Although it is difficult to
make comparisons across the studies, the values of the two samples appear to be similar. The
Values Questionnaire data from this study gives some interesting insights into why
Aboriginal groups with much exposure to Western culture still retain strong traces of what
might be regarded as "Aboriginal values". Keats (1986), in tracing the development of values,
argued that they are complex and stable, the result of a long process of development, and
most heavily influenced by the individual's parents. The very high value assigned to
"Honouring Parents" may help to explain this ability to retain a number of traditional values.
Sex differences were also explored in this study but only to determine whether they had
a moderating effect on differences between groups. The interaction term was not significant
and there is little that can be said. The finding that males scored more highly on Hedonism
and that females scored more highly on Spirituality and Security are in line with the findings
of Feather (1980) and Feather et al. (1992).
In summary, the main aims of this study were to a) discover the value system of
Aboriginal students attending university, b) explore value differences between Aboriginal
and non-Aboriginal university students, c) seek evidence of continuity between the values
shown in (a) and those attributed to traditional aboriginal culture in studies of world view, d)
examine the role of sex differences in (b). The study has been largely successful in these
aims. With regard to (a), it has been shown that Aboriginal students rate collective values
more highly than individual values. They also obtain higher ratings on collective values and
lower ratings on individualistic values than a comparable group of non-Aboriginal students.
With regard to (b), we have shown that where there are differences between Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal students, they mostly support the interpretation that the former group is more
concerned with collective values, although the latter group is also slightly inclined in this
direction. The Aboriginal group is certainly more consistent in its orientation. Regarding (c),
we can say that the Aboriginal students have values that are probably somewhere between
those typical of non-Aboriginal Australian society and those typical of their traditional
culture. There is no evidence on where they might be on this continuum because we cannot
fix the position of a traditional group. With regard to d), the evidence indicates that where
group differences in values are found, they tend to be the same for males and females.
These findings do have implications for understanding the general position of
Aboriginal students in our education system. The first point to be made is that any difference
Values of Australian Aboriginal Students 12
in values must be considered important. Understanding the similarities and differences shown
in this study will lead to a better appreciation of the issues involved in Aboriginal education.
A low regard for individualistic values may not be detrimental to the interests of a group if it
is shared throughout the society, as appears to be the case with Chinese (Bond, 1988) and
Hong Kong Chinese (Schwartz & Bilsky, 1990), but it can be a distinct disadvantage if the
larger part of the society does not share these views. The differences on Achievement and
Self-Direction values, in particular, may well hinder academic progress. A second point that
can be made is that is always unwise to assume that people who have shared major
experiences - in this case, many years of identical education curricula - necessarily share the
same values. We tend to assume that they do and, as Feather (1980) has shown, assumptions
about the value systems of other cultures can be very wrong indeed.
Finally, this study has a number of limitations including the fact that it has not yet been
established whether the values themselves have the same meaning in both Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal Australian culture. The moderate internal consistency reliability estimates
obtained in this study - and also present in the Feather et al. (1992) data - raise questions
about interpretation, measurement and structure. Schwartz & Bilsky (1990) claim that the
theory is universal and that its universality has been establised in a large number of cross-
cultural studies. We have no evidence to contradict this position, but would like to test it.
This question will be addressed as the sample becomes larger and structural analysis becomes
A further limitation of this study is that it has not attempted to evaluate the educational
significance of the changes observed. Given the statements made by Berry (1988) regarding
the significance of values and goals in understanding cognitive achievement, it is important
that the relationship between values and academic success be explored. It is quite possible
that an orientation towards collective values and a tendency to downgrade individualistic
values will work against students in an academic setting. Data which will enable a test of
hypotheses relating to this issue have been collected over the past three years and
relationships are currently being explored by the present authors.
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... It is interesting to note that there are wide subcultural variations in VOPs in the same geographical situation and national culture (Ben-Ari and Lavee 2004; Fogarty and White 1994;Gillin 1961;Groot and van den Born 2007;Klukhhohn and Strodbeck 1961;Sodowsky et al. 1994). For example, 1. Man-nature orientation Subjugation-to-nature: living in a total submission way with the natural/ super-natural forces Harmony-with-nature: living in a partial control or compromising with the natural/super-natural forces Mastery-over-nature: living in a total control over or in the natural/supernatural forces 2. Human nature orientation Evil (mutable): born with evil, but may be good through learning Neutral (mutable): born neither good nor bad, but may learn both good and bad traits Good-and-evil (mutable): born with good and bad traits, may be either better or worse through learning Good (mutable): basically good, but subject to corruption 3. Time orientation Past: the time before now on preserving and maintaining traditions and beliefs Present: the time now on accommodating changes in traditions and beliefs Future: the time to come planning ahead and trying to seek new ways to replace the old 4. Activity orientation Being: self-induced motivation that emphasizes sincere and simultaneous activity valued by self but not by others in the group Being-in-becoming: ability developing motivation that is valued by us but not necessarily by others Doing: external motivation to us emphasizing activity that is both valued by ourselves and is approved by others in the group 5. Relational orientation Lineal-hierarchical: emphasis on hierarchical principles and deferring to higher authority or authority within the group Collateral: emphasis on consensus within the extended group of equality Individualistic: emphasis on the individual or individual families within the group who make decisions independently from others Definitions adapted from Klukhhohn and Strodbeck 1961, Gallagher 2001, and Hills 2002Gillin (1961 in a cross-cultural study between the Indian and the Ladino, "folk-like" communities, in the US found that the Indians harmonized to the man-nature, good in human nature, present-oriented in time, being or being-in-becoming in activity, cooperative and collectivistic in group relation, while the Ladinos dominated to and controlled over the nature, future in time, mixture of good and bad in human nature, stratified and ordering and competitive in human relation. ...
... In addition, the VOPs were interconnected to each other (p < 0.01). These findings are consistent with the Klukhhohn and Strodbeck (1961) value orientation theory and its assumptions, and the findings of cross-cultural research studies conducted in the multicultural societies (Fogarty and White 1994;Sodowsky et al. 1994) and Bangladesh (Uddin 2009). It is interesting to note that although the communities were communalistic, collectivistic and patrilineal in nature, and would dwell in the same geographical location and socioeconomic situations mentioned earlier, based on individual level analysis, the findings suggested that most of the Muslim, the Santal, and the Oraon compared to the Hindu were more subjugated to and less compromise with and mastery over the nature. ...
... Lastly, in relational orientation, the Hindu and the Muslim compared to the Oraon and the Santal were more lineal-hierarchical and less collateral and individualistic, but the later cases preferred more collateral human relation than the Muslim and the Hindu did. These findings are consistent with the results of several crosscultural studies conducted in the same national culture and geographical situations in North America (Ben-Ari and Lavee 2004;Fogarty and White 1994;Gillin 1961;Groot and van den Born 2007;Klukhhohn and Strodbeck 1961;Sodowsky et al. 1994;Zaharna 2008). ...
... Indeed, our study not only expands on the work by Martin et al. (2013a), it continues a line of related psychological research among Indigenous students. For example, researchers have suggested non-Indigenous students are more inclined to value performance goals, competition, future time orientation, and individuality whereas Indigenous students are more inclined to value group orientation, present-time orientation, and non-competitive environments (Fogarty & White, 1994;McInerney, 2000). Issues of identity and self-concept are also implicated. ...
... For example, a sense of efficacy (or self-concept; Craven et al., 2005) in academic capacity has been identified as critically important for Indigenous students' educational outcomes (Purdie et al., 2000). Achievement goals are also implicated; as noted, non-Indigenous students are more inclined to value performance goals, whereas Indigenous students are more inclined to value group-goal orientations (Fogarty & White, 1994;McInerney, 2000). A valuing of education emerges as a key factor in Indigenous students' educational outcomes. ...
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Among a sample of 472 Indigenous high school students, juxtaposed with 15,884 non-Indigenous students from the same 54 schools, we investigated variation in motivation and engagement from school to school, and the role of motivation and engagement in predicting various academic outcomes (aspirations, buoyancy, homework completion, achievement). We found significantly lower mean-levels of motivation and engagement among Indigenous students. Importantly, however, after accounting for age, gender, socio-economic status, and prior achievement, the motivation and engagement differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students were markedly reduced. We also found that Indigenous students’ positive motivation and engagement (e.g., self-efficacy, mastery orientation, etc.) predicted academic outcomes to a significantly greater extent than their negative motivation and engagement (e.g., anxiety, self-handicapping, etc.) predicted these outcomes. Findings are discussed with particular focus on how they may be helpful in identifying ways to enhance the educational outcomes of Indigenous students.
... The CALD people are born overseas, in countries other than those classified as ''main Englishspeaking countries.'' The ATSI and CALD populations differ culturally from the majority Englishspeaking Australian population and are more similar to Eastern cultures by their collectivist nature and family structure and dynamics [16,52]. Including these two groups at the Australian site could make the sample heterogeneous. ...
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Recovery defines a positive and empowering experience for people with Schizophrenia. The cultural environment could be a crucial determinant of this innately personal experience. The concept of recovery is said to have originated in the Western world. The Western notions of recovery may not be entirely relevant in the East, which is seen as different from the West in various aspects like a person’s identity as an individual, family structure and dynamics, religious and spiritual orientations, and access to quality health and welfare services. Definition of recovery accommodating a range of social and cultural factors is challenging. This paper discusses the constructivist grounded theory (CGT) methodology of a qualitative research project to explore the Schizophrenia recovery experience in India and Australia, representing the Eastern and the Western cultures, respectively. Individual in-depth interviews and focus groups engaging people with Schizophrenia, their family members and mental health service providers will provide the data. The researchers’ interpretive understanding of the participants’ views and voices emerging from the data will form the base for theory construction. The knowledge emerging from the study can inform a culturally appropriate application of the recovery principles in the mental health care of people with Schizophrenia.
... These psychology studies are a small sample of the intercultural comparisons in search of a pancultural typology for values. Despite this large body of literature, there is limited research using the Schwartz theory or other models with First Nations peoples specifically.Two studies use the Schwartz Values Survey with Australian Aboriginal and nonAboriginal university students found that Aboriginal students tend to be more collectively minded, scoring more highly in the collectivist scales of Conformity, Tradition and Security than the nonAboriginal student cohorts(Fogarty & White 1994;White & Fogarty 2000). A comparative study of values by acculturation clusters of Canadian Aboriginal people found the group with higher endorsement of both traditional and mainstream cultures had a value profile most consistent with the Native worldviews predominant in the literature ...
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In response to the research question ‘What methods are feasible, reliable and appropriate for quantifying cultural values for First Nations people?’, this thesis demonstrates how choice modelling can elucidate and measure the value that Indigenous people place on aspects of their culture by privileging their viewpoints. Measuring and incorporating these intangible values in policy and legal frameworks is essential to effectively and substantially give voice to First Nations peoples. The idea behind this research developed while travelling with a Nyikina elder who spoke of the tension between income from employment establishing a livelihood in the western way and the cultural activity essential for maintaining cultural connection, identity and wellbeing. Using those tensions and trade-offs in choice modelling enables measurement of intangible values of culture. Choice modelling, which includes discrete choice experiments and best-worst scaling, has strong theoretical bases in economics and psychology, supported with rigorous mathematical architecture. It has been shown to accurately predict actual behaviour, with fewer behavioural biases than contingent valuation. Limited application of choice modelling with First Nations people has occurred in cultural heritage, environmental and resource management contexts. Multiphase fieldwork in several west Kimberley locations, with Nyikina and Mangala people, started with qualitative research to build trust and inform the selection of attributes and levels for the choice model. In order to yield maximum information about preferences, with minimum cognitive load, a Best-Worst Scaling Profile Case model with a supplementary question about profile acceptability, a discrete choice experiment, was developed and incorporated into a survey. The relative preferences identified in responses yield dollar valuations for the cultural attributes. Overall, access to traditional Country had the strongest responses to lowest and highest levels yielding marginal values of up to $0.44 million per person per annum. As well as informing methodological development, this research has significant implications and potential applications in policy and legal contexts. The need for Indigenous viewpoints to be central in policy development is generally accepted, and choice modelling could support valuation in this context. Failures to protect cultural heritage have highlighted the need to quantify and incorporate cultural values in decision making, rather than dismissing them as immeasurable. Application of choice modelling in native title compensation cases could overcome the current limitation of determinations being reliant on judicial intuition and market proxies
This study aimed to determine whether mandatory or non-mandatory cultural safety training would be more effective to address a lack of cultural safety for Indigenous students in tertiary education. Two electronic databases were systematically searched, and articles were included based on reference to mandatory or non-mandatory cultural safety training, and respective outcomes for Indigenous students. Findings were mixed, whereby studies with both mandatory and non-mandatory cultural safety training have proven successful, suggesting potential for a mixed-methods model to be effective. Effectiveness can also be dependent on the context of the study and its associated delivery methods. These findings suggest that how cultural safety training is implemented may be more influential than whether or not it is mandated. This is a potential research topic for future studies that look at cultural safety for Indigenous peoples.
Research Proposal
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Value orientation and inter-ethnic relations are interrelated. Based on Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck's analytical framework and descriptive case study method this paper examined value orientation patterns and inter-group relations between majority and minority groups in Bangladesh. Following the model cross-cultural literature and result of descriptive case study method revealed that there were significant differences in value orientations between the majority and minority ethnic communities in Bangladesh. The variations in value orientation were more likely to affect inter-ethnic relations (e.g., socio-cultural deprivation and threat) for the minority ethnic groups, especially Santal and Oraon in northwestern region. The findings have implications in social practice to improve inter-ethnic social relations in Bangladesh.
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Both cross-cultural psychology and theories of value would benefit from the empirical identification of value dimensions that are pancultural and comprehensive. Accordingly, in this article, I report the results of a 21-culture study of the Chinese Value Survey (CVS) and a 9-culture study of the Rokeach Value Survey (RVS). The analysis began with a "deculturing" of the data to remove the cultural positioning effect, then proceeded with a pooled factor analysis to discover pancultural patterns of association among the values. Two factors emerged from the CVS, four from the RVS. The individuals in each survey were then given factor scores, which were analyzed for sex and culture effects. Average scores for individuals from the cultures common to both surveys suggest that the CVS contained a dimension of valuing not found in the RVS. The discussion focuses on the factors' validity, their use in cross-cultural research, and the potential of different cultural traditions for extending psychology's conceptual net.
My opinion on the current status of the concept of intelligence and the important next steps to be taken in its investigation (Berry, 1986) is that “intelligence, as presently used in psychology, is culture-bound, ethnocentric and excessively narrow”; however, with certain “next steps” it could be “a pan-human, universal, and broader construct that applies to intellectual functioning in the species as a whole”. These “next steps” involve a substantial involvement by psychologists in the examination of indigenous cognition; this view is based both on a critical view of an a priori construct like intelligence that has such potential for damage to an individual’s life chances, and on a recent empirical review of work on indigenous conceptions of intelligence (Berry, 1984). This paper provides a synthesis and documentation of my position, and draws insights from two current projects, one with peoples in Central Africa (Berry et al., 1986), and the other with syllabic-literate Cree in Northern Canada (Berry, Bennett and Parsonson, 1986). The paper also draws upon recent collaborative work with S.H. Irvine (Berry and Irvine, 1986; Irvine and Berry, 1987).
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What does world view mean? What is the Aboriginal world view like and how does it affect people’s behaviour? Is it possible for a white Australian to understand the Aboriginal world view? In this article I hope to present a white person’s point of view on these questions. I have three sources of information: eight years living with Milingimbi Yolngu, ten years learning and working with the Yolngu language, and as many years reading the works of anthropologists, linguists and Aboriginal writers. I feel that I have only the remotest understanding of this question but it is one which needs to be thought about and talked about. Hopefully this article will provoke debate.
Psychological changes which result from culture contact and social change have been described for many years within a number of theoretical frameworks, among which is the theory of Marginal Man: Persons living in an acculturated Aboriginal (Australian) community were interviewed in an attempt to comprehend the relations among a number of scaled variables involved in this and other theoretical approaches. Measures taken, in addition to psychological marginality itself, were for alienation, social deviance, psychosomatic stress, attitudes to modes of relating to the dominant White society, degree of westernization, personal barriers to interacting with the dominant community, and ethnic identification. A pattern of results emerged which, in part, supported marginality theory, but which also pointed to a pattern involving more marginality, more deviance and more stress for those rejecting the dominant White society. An interpretation of the data, is offered in terms of reaffirmation of traditional values, a phenomenon anticipated by the original formulators of marginality theory, and now well-documented in the anthropological literature. This interpretation is supported by further analyses of the data in relation to indices of acculturation.
A position of cultural relativism is outlined and employed in an examination of variations in folk conceptions and psychologists' conceptions of cognitive competence in a variety of cultures. At the same time it is proposed that pan-cultural characteristics of cognitive competence must also be sought. A framework for exploring both the local and the universal features of cognitive functioning is presented as a guide for future research, and as a test of current formulations.
This research examines value differences in three samples: expatriate Iranian Baha'is (35 males, 30 females) resident in Australia, 59 Australian Baha'is (22 males, 37 females), and 66 unselected Australians (35 males, 31 females). Subjects rated a set of 30 terminal values and 26 instrumental values for importance, using the Schwartz Value Survey. Values were classified into domains in terms of the Schwartz and Bilsky (1987) analysis of their universal content and structure. The results showed that the two Baha'i groups rated values concerned with restrictive conformity, tradition, and spirituality as relatively more important and values concerned with hedonism, self-direction, and stimulation as relatively less important, when compared with the unselected Australian sample. Other group differences in value priorities were also obtained when groups were compared two at a time. Men assigned more relative importance than women to values from the hedonism, achievement, power, and stimulation domains. Women rated values from the benevolence and spirituality domains as relatively more important.