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The Universe of Human Values: A Structural and Developmental Hierarchy

Authors:
The universe of human values: a structural,
developmental and sociopolitical view
Janek Musek, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
General introduction
Toward a redefinition of the concept of values
In the philosophical as well as in the psychological or sociological axiology a
number of definitions and conceptions of values could be found (Musek, 1982; Musek,
1993a). As examples, two broadly accepted definitions could be mentioned here. Clyde
Kluckhohn (1951; Musek, 1993a) defines values as concepts of the desirable, which
influence how people decide for actions and how they evaluate events. And in terms
of English and English (1972; Musek, 1993a) "the values are abstract, often implicit
conceptions, which define to the individual the goals or means for attaining the goals
he considers as desirable". Very often cited characteristics of values are the evaluative
note, abstractness, cultural sharing and obligatory personal involvement.
Some years ago I proposed somewhat different model of values (Musek,
1982). According to this proposition the values could be understood as motives or
motivational goals on the very high level of generality (see also Schwartz and Bilsky,
1987). They could be conceived as general and relatively consistent ideations about
goals and events, which we highly estimate, which refer to broad classes of
subordinated objects, actions and relations, and which direct our interests, attitudes
and our behavior. The values then can be viewed as the most general motivational
goals occupying the top of hierarchy of such goals.
If the values can be conceived as generalised and structuralised motivational
forces we can also better understand their role in the life of individuals and in the
societies. Further, we can hypothesize that organised value systems and orientations
should reflect the life span differences (differences between generations) as well as the
differences between cultural, socioeconomic and sociopolitical systems in society. In
the present study, an attempt has been made to examine three levels of modelind the
existing universe of human values by means of psychological approach: the structure of
the universe of values, the life span development of values and the relationship between
sociopolitical changes and values.
Study 1
The structure of values
Method used in our studies of values
Subjects and design
198 subjects of both sexes (111 females and 87 males) participated in the study.
The mean age of the subjects was about 23 years (22.88; standard deviation 7.95). The
investigation was designed as multivariate correlational study of 54 variables
represented by ratings of importance of respective values on 1 to 100 rating scale
continuum.
Instruments
A list of values containing 54 different values has been used in the study. The
values have been selected on the grounds of our previous research data. The complete
list of values is shown on appendix A.
Procedure
Each subject rated 54 values one after one on a 1 to 100 graded importance -
nonimportance rating scale. The ratings have been alleviated by using a value as an
anchoring standard assigning the rating 50 to it.
Subjects received the lists of values with detailed instructions how to complete
them. The values were listed one by one in the same order. The subjects rated them
one after one using a rating scale continuum from the grade 1 (the minimum of
importance) to the grade 100 (the maximum of importance). They were asked to rate
the importance of the values presented in the list as they feel personally. The first value
on the list (the self-knowledge) was already assigned to the rating 50. This value
served only as the anchoring standard for further ratings and was not used in the
subsequent analyses.
The analysis of results
The value ratings of subjects were collected, correlated and entered into the
correlational matrix disposed for further statistical analyses. Various multivariate
analyses, especially cluster and factor analyses were then performed in order to reveal
the structure of relationships between different values.
The hierarchical structure of values
The values can be classified into a number of categories occupying different
levels in the hierarchical structure of human goals. Numerous categories of values at
different levels of hierarchy have been identified in the theoretical and empirical
investigations. In our own research, a clear hierarchy of the categories of values
emerged as a result of performed factor-, cluster- and other multivariate analyses
(Musek, 1993a; Musek, 1993b; Musek, 1994).
As we can see from the Figure 1, the results of factor and other multivariate
analyses confirmed the hierarchical structure of the values. According to this structure,
the values can be classified at different levels of generality, from the most general at
the top to the most specific in the bottom. At the most general level of the entire
structural hierarchy, there are only two very large categories (macrocategories) of
values (Dionysian and Apollonian macrocategory). On the next level, each of these two
categories splits into two further subcategories, which could be called the value types.
Dionysian values could be subdivided into two groups, hedonistic values and potency
values. The first group (hedonistic values) contains the values, connected with sensual
and material pleasures, while the second group (potency values) includes the values,
which have to do with achievement, success and reputation, but also with patriotism.
At the next level, each of the value types could be further divided into the middle-range
categories of values. Thus, the hedonistic type disjoin into sensual and health category,
the potency type into the status and patriotism category, the moral type into the
traditional, democratic (or societal) and social values and the fulfilment type into the
cognitive, cultural, self-actualising and spiritual values. Finally, at the most specific
level of hierarchy, we can find different single values, which can be derived from the
middle-range categories of values.
MACRODIMENSIONS
OF VALUES
VALUE TYPES
MIDDLE RANGE CATEGORIES OF VALUES
SPECIFIC VALUES
1
2
3
4
Figure 1. The four-level hierarchy of values. It includes the level of
macrodimensions, the level of value types, the level of middle-range value categories
and the level of specific values.
Study 2
The life-span development of value system
Confronted with our results and associations we hypothesised that they may
reflect not only a structural, but also a developmental hierarchy. We assumed, that the
rated importance of main value categories varies with the age or developmental stages
of the individual person. In order to test our assumptions we programmed a
preliminary investigation.
Interestingly enough, the content of four value types resemble an ancient
oriental classification of values. According to this classification, the values, emerging
most early in the life of human being, have to do with life pleasures and satisfaction of
sensual and physical needs. At the next stage, the values connected with success,
achievement and reputation take the place. In the next phase, the individual becomes
more and more occupied with the values, regulating his duties and responsibilities. And
finally, he achieves the level of progressive orientation toward the values of inner life,
of spiritual life and self-transcendence. Indeed, these four categories of values very
well correspond to our four types of values: the hedonistic values, the potency values,
the moral values and the fulfilment values.
We may hypothesise therefore that the relative importance of clustering values
will be shifted from hedonistic and potency values to moral and spiritual (self-growth)
values during the life span of individuals. The results of our investigation indeed
confirmed connections between the age of the subjects and the rated importance of
values. The correlations between the age and the ratings for two largest and four more
specific categories of values are presented in the Table 1.
Table 1.
Correlation between categories of values and age.
CATEGORIES OF VALUES CORRELATION COEFFICIENTS
________________________________________________________________
APOLLONIAN VALUES .27
DIONYSIAN VALUES -.51
hedonistic values -.24
potency values -.41
moral values .06
fulfilment values .41
The results clearly show that the importance of Dionysian values decreases, and
the importance of Apollonian values increases with the age of our subjects. At more
specific level of value dimensions, the hedonistic values and potency values tend to
decrease and the fulfilment values tend to increase during the life span of adult person
(moral values remaining more or less stagnant).
A developmental hierarchy of values is interesting not only because it fits a
traditional philosophy and even folkloristic theory of values, but still more because it
throw some new light on puzzling phenomena like notorious value conflict between
generations. It is possible that the conflict between generations reflects the different
value orientations resulting from the normal, developmental change (or shift) in the
hierarchy of values. In some surrealistic way, for instance, the fifty years old person is
in the value conflict with him- or herself at twenties. The fact, that the value conflict
between generations is a perpetuating phenomenon - not a characteristic of just two or
more present generations - is quite in accord with this explanation.
Study 3
The sociopolitical context of values
The connection with political and religious adherence
Since the beginning of the organized religious and political life, the value
orientations have been an integral part of the programs of the religious and political
movements or leaders. The differences in value orientations have been traditionally
reported for religious people and atheists, conservatives and liberals (radicals), rightists
and leftists, democratic and authoritarian political movements. Thus, a question might
be raised whether the political and religious preferences of the individuals are
substantially related to their value orientations. In the literature we can find an
abundance of research concentrating on relationship between attitudes and political
orientation (Eysenck, 1954) or attitudes and religious commitment (). Despite the
growing interest in the study of values, from the pioneering work of Spranger (1930),
Allport, Vernon & Lindzey (1951), Murray & Kluckhohn (1953) and Rokeach (1973,
1979), to the more recent cross-cultural (Bond, 1988; Hofstede, 1980; Hui & Triandis,
1986; Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987, 1990) and developmental research of values (Musek,
1993) no great attention in psychological research has been devoted to the individual
values in relation to the political and religious orientation. Thus, as an extension of my
research of the values in the transition processes in post-communist countries (Musek,
1995; Musek, 1996, 1997) I also planned to investigate the relationship between the
values and political as well as religious adherence more thoroughly. In this
presentation, I will briefly report the main result of the research on that topic.
The case of transitional changes in value system in Post-communist European
countries
Transition processes in former socialist societies in Europe are still the matter
of intensive conceptual debate in many fields and disciplines. Beside some common
factors influencing the transitional changes we can also find obvious differences and
dissimilarities between ex-socialist countries in political, economic and psychosocial
domain.
The changes in psychological and psychosocial domain have been detected in
post-communist countries even before the very beginning of political and economic
transition. They included the disintegration of socialist ideology and value-system
(vastly supported by previous political regime), accompanied with the invigoration of
political autonomism and the simultaneous increase of pro-individual, entrepreneurial,
pro-democratic, pro-religious and pro-nationalist orientation. There is a common
observation that the intensity of these changes correlated with the cultural and
historical factors including the closeness to the western or central-European tradition
(with the historical passages through Reformation, Anti-Reformation and
Enlightenment phases), the commitment to catholic rather than orthodox religion, the
adherence to the individualistic rather than collectivistic culture etc. For instance,
Slovenia, the most western of all these countries, differs from the others in many
respects on the ground of its specific pre-transition conditions. Slovenia has been more
pro-western in orientation, strongly adherent to the central European cultural tradition
and had more improved economy. Slovenia shows therefore comparatively more
indications of stable and accelerated economic development in transition period and
has gained some strategic goals of post-socialist development more rapidly (Orazem
and Vodopivec, 1994; Pleskovic and Sachs, 1994; Vodopivec and Hribar-Milic, 1993).
Considering the fundamental role of value system in each society, possible
changes in value orientation period deserve a special attention in analysing transitional
processes in Central and East Europe. Despite the fact, that the value systems are by
definition rather stable and resistant to change, we may expect that they cannot remain
unchanged in confrontation with a large societal transition occuring in Post-communist
countries in Europe.
The major change in value orientation observed in Slovenia (with similar trends
elsewhere in former socialist countries, especially in Central Europe) during the period
from 1988 to 1994 is the significant increase of the rated importance of dionysian
values (see Figure 2a). Dionysian values increased constantly while the apollonian
values remained approximately at the same level. We can see that the raise of
dionyisian values is due to the increments in both hedonistic and potency value types
(see Figure 2b). The moral value type remained more or less stagnant during the period
of measurement, while the fulfilment values showed a significant fall-down in the 1991
and then raised again in the next years.
The value types could be further divided into different middle-range categories
of values. As shown in Figure 2c, the most significant changes have been recorded for
patriotic, status and sensual values which consistently increased. Social and security
values also increased, but only in the period after 1991. The other categories remain
mostly at the same level (democratic, cognitive and traditional values) or even
decreased in the period from 1988 to 1991 (cultural and religious values).
a
88/89 91/92 93/95
Dionysian
Apollonian
0
25
50
75
100
88/89 91/92 93/95
Dionysian
Apollonian
Dionysian
Apollonian
b
Hedonistic Potency Moral Fulfilment
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Hedonistic Potency Moral Fulfilment
88/89
91/92
93/95
0 20 40 60 80 100
sensua l
security
status
patriotism
democratic
social
tradition al
cultur al
cognitive
actual ysing
religiou s
93/95
91/92
88/89
Figure 2. The observed shifts in the ratings of the importance of values in the period
1988 to 1994 in Slovenia: (a) the macrocategories (Dionysian and Apollonian
values), (b) the value types and (c) middle-range categories.
The observed changes and shifts in value orientation are congruent with
political, social and economic changes in pre-transition and transition period in
Slovenia. The changes in value orientation indicate the rise of individualism,
competitiveness and nationalism, all embodied in dionysian values, in hedonistic and
potency value types and particularly in status, sensual, security and patriotic values.
This picture can easily be associated with the dominant changes on the political and
economic scene: the transformation of totalitarian system to the pluralistic democracy
and the progression from the socialist to the market economy. The rise of patriotism
and nationalism in transition period is very understandable for the situation of Slovenia,
which struggle for independence culminated successfully in 1991.
Nevertheless, the changes in value system - although significant - are not very
dramatic and they could even be appeased soon in the future. The observed
modifications in value orientation reflect probably not only the realm of transitory
processes, but also the specific situation of Slovenia with its historical, cultural and
geographical inclinations.
References:
English, H. B. & English, A. C. (1972) Obuhvatni rečnik psiholoških I
psihoanalitičkih pojmova. Beograd, Savremena administracija.
Kluckhohn, C. (1951) Values and value orientations in the theory of action. In:
Parsons, T. & Shils, E. (Eds.) Toward a general theory of action. Cambridge
(Massachusetts), Harvard University Press.
Musek, J. (1982) Osebnost. Ljubljana, DDU Univerzum, (in Slovene).
Musek, J. (1993a) Osebnost in vrednote. Ljubljana, Educy, (in Slovene).
Musek, J. (1993b) The universe of human values: a structural and developmental
hierarchy. Studia Psychologica, 35, 4-5, 321-326.
Musek, J. (1994) Values and value orientations in the background of European
cultural traditions. Anthropos (Ljubljana), International Issue.
Schwartz, S. H. & Bilsky, W. (1987). Toward a universal psychological structure
of human values. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 3, 550-
562.
... To pa ne pomeni, da so nespremenljive. Že v naših prejšnjih raziskavah smo uspešno preverili hipotezo, da se vrednotne usmeritve spreminjajo s starostjo (Musek, 1988(Musek, , 1991(Musek, , 1993a(Musek, , 1993b(Musek, , 1993c. ...
... nadaljuje tudi v odraslem obdobju. Z zrelostjo upada relativna vrednost hedonskih in potenčnih vrednot in narašča relativni pomen moralnih vrednot ter vrednot življenjske, osebne in duhovne izpolnitve. To se ujema z oceno, da se tudi na področju vrednot pojavlja razvojna hierarhija (Lešnik,'1991;Musek. 1988Musek. , 1991Musek. , 1993aMusek. , 1993bMusek. , 1993cMusek. , 2000. ...
... Ugotovitve naše raziskave vsekakor ponovno potrjujejo temeljne obrise našega razvojnega modela vrednot, predvsem se ujemajo z razvojno hierarhijo vrednot, ki smo jo ugotavljali v več študijah (Musek, 1993a(Musek, , 1993b(Musek, , 1993c(Musek, , 1995(Musek, , 2000. V teh študijah smo poudarili, da lahko spričo razvojnih zakonitosti v oblikovanju vrednotnega sistema jasneje pojmujemo večkrat omenjano vrednotno konfliktnost med generacijami. ...
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IZVLEČEK Raziskave vrednot so pokazale, da se vrednotne usmeritve odraslih ljudi od mladostništva dalje nekoliko spreminjajo. V tej raziskavi smo želeli ugotoviti, kakšne razlike v vrednotnih usmeritvah se pojavljajo med tremi starostnimi generacijami. Pripadniki treh generacij (mlajše s povprečno starostjo 21,5 let, srednje s povprečjem 47 let in starejše s povprečjem 70 let) so izpolnili lestvico vrednot MLV-M. njihove ocene vrednot pa smo obdelali z. ustreznimi postopki. Izsledki raziskave kažejo, da se med generacijami pojavljajo nekatere bistvene razlike v vrednotnih usmeritvah. Pokazalo se je, da s starostjo upada pomen dionizičnili (zlasti hedonskih) vrednot, narašča pa pomen apolonskih (zlasti moralnih). Pokazalo se je tudi. da je pri srednji generaciji relativno poudarjen pomen potenčnih in izpolnitvenih vrednot. Tako se naše ugotovitve ujemajo z rezultati naših prejšnjih raziskav, ki govorijo o obstoju razvojne hierarhije v oblikovanju vrednot. Podatki naše raziskave pa so relevantni tudi z vidika vzgoje, družinskih odnosov in še posebej z vidika medgeneracijskega prenosa vrednot in vrednotnih konfliktov med generacijami. Iz. rezultatov raziskave bi lahko sklepali, da so glavna žarišča morebitne vrednotne konfliktnosti med generacijami predvsem razlike v vrednotenju hedonskih vrednot na eni strani ter potenčnih in moralnih, bolj specifično pa tudi patriotskih, verskih in tradicionalnih vrednot. Srednja generacija uveljavlja nasproti mlajši generaciji zlasti potenčne in tudi kulturne vrednote, mlajša pa seveda predvsem hedonske in čutne. Najstarejša generacija uveljavlja verske, patriotske in tradicionalne vrednote, nizko pa postavlja hedonske, čutne in tudi statusne vrednote. Razmeroma manjše razlike je opaziti glede socialnih in družinskih, spoznavnih, varnostnih in societalnih (demokratičnih) vrednot. Njihov pomen je skozi generacije dokaj konstanten. Zato so po vsej verjetnosti prav te vrednote tiste, ki se iz generacije v generacijo prenašajo najbolj enoznačno. Ključne besede: vrednote, vrednostne usmeritve, prenos vrednost, vrednotni konflikt, starost, generacija, celoživljenjski razvoj, vzgoja, družinski odnosi ABSTRACT CROSS-GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN VALUE ORIENTATIONS According to the recent psychological research findings, the changes in value orientations have been demonstrated in the life span of individuals from the adolescent age on. In the present study, we aimed to answer the question, what are the differences in value orientations between three generations of adult persons. The participants, belonging to three generations (young generation with average of 21.5 years, middle generation with average of 47 years and old
... Bales and Couch (1969), in considering close to 900 different values used in various questionnaires, reduced the set to four clusters: authority, self-restraint, equality, and individuality. Musek (1993) conducted similar work with 54 values, identifying four underlying categories: hedonistic, moral, achievement, and fulfillment. Using 56 commonly cited values and over 25,000 respondents, Schwartz (1992) noted the existence of 10 basic categories: power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, and security. ...
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... If there is a significant change in value policies, then the culture will change significantly too, and vice-versa. Source: Musek (1993aMusek ( , 1993bMusek ( , 1993cMusek ( , 1993d Studies have shown differences in the value orientations between age groups. In the adolescent period hedonic values (which of course does not mean the highest-valued), which also include safety are relatively pronounced (Musek, Lešnik and Musek, K., 1993). ...
... Bales and Couch (1969) considered close to 900 values used in different questionnaires and reduced the set to four clusters: authority, self-restraint, equality, and individuality. Musek (1993) conducted similar work with 54 values, identifying four underlying categories: hedonistic, moral, achievement and fulfillment. With 56 commonly cited values and over 25,000 respondents, the Schwartz Value Survey provided a set of 10 universal subdimensions -power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, security, openness to change/conservation, and self-enhancement/self-transcendence ( Schwartz 1992;Schwartz and Bilsky 1990). ...
... Bales and Couch (1969) considered close to 900 values used in different questionnaires and reduced the set to four clusters: authority, self-restraint, equality, and individuality. Musek (1993) conducted similar work with 54 values, identifying four underlying categories: hedonistic, moral, achievement and fulfillment. With 56 commonly cited values and over 25,000 respondents, the Schwartz Value Survey provided a set of 10 universal subdimensions -power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, security, openness to change/conservation, and self-enhancement/self-transcendence ( Schwartz 1992;Schwartz and Bilsky 1990). ...
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... Dimensiones Bales y Couch (1969) 900 Autoridad Autocontrol Equidad Individualismo Musek (1993) 54 Hedonismo Moral Logro Cumplimiento Rokeach (1973) 36 Honestidad Autocumplimiento Hofstede y Bond (1984) 40 Individualismo-colectivismo Masculinidad-feminidad Evitar incertidumbre Distancia de poder Schwartz (1992) 10 Apertura al cambio Conservación Autotrascender Autoengrandecimiento Fuente: Morris et al. (2002) Por lo que respecta al estudio de los valores sobre el espíritu emprendedor, muy a menudo se basa en los valores occidentales de individualismo, competitividad y una fuerte ética de trabajo (Morris y Schindehutte, 2005). Estos valores no son universales en una amplia gama de culturas y comunidades y pueden tener una aplicación limitada en ciertas economías en desarrollo. ...
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