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Personal values in human life



The construct of values is central to many fields in the social sciences and humanities. The last two decades have seen a growing body of psychological research that investigates the content, structure and consequences of personal values in many cultures. Taking a cross-cultural perspective we review, organize and integrate research on personal values, and point to some of the main findings that this research has yielded. Personal values are subjective in nature, and reflect what people think and state about themselves. Consequently, both researchers and laymen sometimes question the usefulness of personal values in influencing action. Yet, self-reported values predict a large variety of attitudes, preferences and overt behaviours. Individuals act in ways that allow them to express their important values and attain the goals underlying them. Thus, understanding personal values means understanding human behaviour.
Personal values in human life
Lilach Sagiv, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Sonia Roccas, The Open University of Israel
Jan Cieciuch, University of Zurich and Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in
Warsaw and
Shalom H. Schwartz, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Corresponding author: Lilach Sagiv, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, email:
This paper was partly funded by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation (847/14) to the
first and second authors, by grants from the Recanati Fund of the School of Business
Administration, and from the Mandel Scholion Interdisciplinary Research Center, both at the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, to the first author, and by a grant from The Open University
Research Fund of the Open University of Israel to the second author. The work of the third
author was supported by the University Research Priority Program Social Networks of the
University of Zurich.
Personal values in human life
The construct of values is central to many fields in the social sciences and humanities. The
last two decades have seen a growing body of psychological research that investigates the
content, structure and consequences of personal values in many cultures. Taking a cross
cultural perspective we review, organize and integrate research on personal values and point
to some of the main findings this research has yielded. Personal values are subjective in
nature, and reflect what people think and state about themselves. Consequently, researchers
and laymen sometimes question their usefulness in influencing action. Yet, self-reported
values predict a large variety of attitudes, preferences and overt behaviors. Individuals act in
ways that allow them to express their important values and attain the goals underlying them.
Thus, understanding personal values means understanding human behavior.
Personal values in human life
Why do some people tend to help others in need while others do not? Why are some
people more religious than others? What accounts for individuals' differences in preferences
for occupations? The values people hold play a crucial role in such attitudes and behaviors. In
this paper we review some of the accumulating research on personal values. Recent research
sheds light on the development of values, showing that they are formed through a
combination of genetic heritage and the impact of exposure to multiple social environments,
such as the family, education system, community and society at large. Although subjective in
nature, self-reported values predict a large array of attitudes and preferences. As such, they
provide invaluable insight into human behavior.
What Values Are
Values refer to what is good and worthy1. They characterize both individuals and social
collectives, such as nations, business organizations, and religious groups. Values of social
collectives (often termed cultural values) represent the goals that members of the social
collective are encouraged to pursue, and they serve to justify actions taken by collective
members and leaders in pursuit of these goals2. Values of individuals (often termed personal
values) are broad desirable goals that motivate people's action and serve as guiding principles
in their lives3 4 5. They affect people’s preferences and behavior over time and across
situations. In the current review article we focus on personal values. For a brief review of
cultural values see Box 1.
Personal values are studied mainly in psychology, although other fields including
sociology, management and political science also study them. The construct of personal values
was introduced into psychological research by Gordon Allport6. For the next 40 years,
however, psychology paid relatively little attention to the study of values. Milton Rokeach
gave new momentum to value research with his proposal that values serve as reference points
that people use to formulate attitudes and behaviors4. The last three decades have seen a
growing body of psychological research on values. Researchers have studied the content,
structure, origins and consequences of values in many cultures7 8 9 5 10 11. Personal values are a
central content-aspect of the self, distinct from other aspects, such as traits, motives, goals or
attitudes12 13 14.
Personal values are defined as broad, trans-situational, desirable goals that serve as
guiding principles in people’s lives5 3 4. Unpacking this definition points to their unique
features, which distinguish them from other central aspects of the self15 16. We next deconstruct
the definition of values. We identify what values share with related constructs such as needs,
motives, personality traits, attitudes and specific goals, and how values differ from these
Values are broad, trans-situational goals. Values are cognitive representations of
motivational goals5. All values represent goals, but not all goals are values. Values are broad
goals that are relevant across a variety of situations. Thus, for example, a person who views
independence as an important value in the work context is likely to attribute high
importance to this value in other contexts; with friends, family, authority figures, etc. This
trans-situational feature distinguishes values from constructs such as attitudes and specific
goals, which usually refer to specific actions, objects, or situations.
Values are desirable. Values represent desirable goals; they reflect what people consider
important and worthy4 5. People generally view their personal attributes favorably and tend to
have positive self-esteem. However, people view their own values as even more desirable than
their other personal attributes: They see their values as closer to their ideal self than their
personality traits, and wish to modify their values to a lesser extent14.
Values are ordered in hierarchies according to their subjective importance as
guiding principles. Each person has a personal hierarchy of value priorities: some values
are extremely important, others moderately important, and still others are of some
importance. There are some similarities in the value hierarchies of most people. Analyses
of self-reports of values revealed that values that express a motivation to care for close
others are among the most important values to most people in most societies. In contrast,
values that express a motivation to dominate and control others, are among the least
important values to most people in most societies17. Individuals differ substantially in the
importance they attribute to these values, however.
The hierarchical organization of values is a unique feature that distinguishes them from
other constructs related to the self concept. It reflects the motivational nature of values: The
higher a value in the hierarchy, the more motivated the person is to rely on this value as a
guiding principle in life4 18. Consider again the value of independence. A person who attributes
high importance to this value is likely to rely on it in making important decisions and
choosing actions. Thus, for example, she is likely to seek an occupation that allows some
autonomy in choosing how and what to do, to judge severely infractions of people’s
autonomy, to encourage her children to express independence of thought and action, and to
send them to schools that do the same.
The Content and Structure of Values
The number of possible values is very large. Any dictionary contains hundreds of
value terms. Rokeach's value survey4 sampled 36 single values (18 termed instrumental and
18 termed terminal values). An important advance in values research was introduced by
Schwartz5, who theorized that multiple single values express the same broad, underlying
motivation. For example, freedom, independence and choosing one's own goals all share the
motivation for autonomy of thought and action. Thus, long lists of values can be organized
into a much shorter list of meaningful types of values.
Schwartz5 proposed a theory of universals in the content and structure of personal
values. After its presentation in 1992, this theory quickly became prominent in the field9 11.
Schwartz suggested that values can be organized according to the motivational goals they
express. Analyzing the needs of individuals and the requirements for societal survival,
Schwartz5 identified ten motivationally distinct types of values: power, achievement,
hedonism, stimulation, self-direction, universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity, and
security. Table 1 (Column 2) presents the definitions of the ten values and provides
examples for value-items.
Some of these values are mutually compatible; they reflect goals that can be attained
simultaneously through the same actions or attitudes. Other values conflict with each other;
actions that promote the attainment of one value are likely to impede the attainment of the
other. For example, seeking to challenge existing knowledge by developing a novel theory or
research paradigm expresses self-direction values, which express the motivation for
autonomy of thought and action. Such behavior also expresses and is compatible with
pursuing stimulation values, which reflect the motivation to experience change and novelty
and to be daring. Such behavior conflicts, however, with expressing and pursuing conformity
values, which reflect the motivation to comply with prevailing norms and expectations and to
avoid action that could upset others. The conflicts and compatibilities among the various
values determine their structure. Values are structured in a circular continuum, organized
according to the motivations they express. Adjacent values express compatible motivations,
and opposing values express conflicting motivations (Figure 15).
Schwartz5 summarized the circular structure by combining the values into four higher
order values that form two basic conflicts. The first conflict contrasts self-enhancement with
self-transcendence. Self-enhancement values emphasize the pursuit of self-interest by seeking
to control people and resources (power) or by exhibiting ambition and socially recognized
success (achievement). These values conflict with self-transcendence values that emphasize
concern for others, demonstrating care for the welfare of those with whom one has frequent
contact (benevolence) or displaying acceptance, tolerance, and concern for all people—even
members of outgroups (universalism).
The second conflict contrasts openness to change with conservation. Openness to
change values express the motivations for autonomy of thought and action (self-direction)
and for novelty and excitement (stimulation). These values conflict with conservation values
that express the motivations to preserve the status quo through maintaining traditional
beliefs and customs (tradition), to comply with rules and with expectations of others
(conformity), and to seek safety and stability (security). Hedonism values share elements of
both openness to change and self-enhancement.
The motivational continuum of values can be partitioned in different ways. Many
researchers study either the original ten values5 or the four higher-order values described
above19 20. However, because the values form a motivational continuum, finer partitions are
also possible. Indeed, in a recent refinement of the theory, Schwartz distinguished 19 values
on the same continuum21 22. Column 3 of Table 1 presents the 19 refined values and their
Cross-Cultural Evidence for the Model of the Content and Structure of Values
Schwartz’s circular model has received support in more than 300 samples from over
80 countries23 10 24. This consistency in the structure of values (i.e., in the patterns of their
interrelations) indicates that the meaning of the value is similar across cultures. That is,
when people from different cultures consider the importance of a value (e.g., independence),
they have in mind a similar idea. Research reveals, however, that the higher the level of
social development, the clearer the structure of conflicts and compatibilities is25.
In sum, cross-cultural research on personal values reveals commonalities in the
meaning of values and some similarity in personal hierarchies of values across cultures. At
the same time, this growing body of research indicates substantial variation in the
importance attributed to values within and across cultures.
Consequences of Values
The conceptualization and measurement of values relies most frequently on what
people report about themselves. Are value statements merely "cheap talk"? Apparently not.
A growing body of research points to the implications of self-reported values for attitudes,
preferences, and overt behavior.
Values and Identity
Values are a core aspect of the self-concept12 26. As such, they are related to and reflected
in aspects of people's personal and social identity. We illustrate the role of values in identity
by discussing their role in two important aspects of people's personal and social lives—
religiosity and career choice. We choose these two domains because both are relevant to most
people, entail aspects of both personal and social identity, and require explicit and implicit
decisions throughout the life course. These two examples provide insights into how values
shape one's identity and the role values play in making us who we are.
Values and religiosity. The religious groups with which individuals affiliate and the
extent of their religiosity are important aspects of their personal and social identity27 28.
People feel that religiosity often defines who they are and influences their beliefs, attitudes
and behaviors. Researchers have long been interested in understanding differences between
religious and non-religious individuals, and between adherents of different religions. The
research relating values to religiosity provides insights into the ways in which those who
identify themselves as religious differ from others.
In one of the earliest works in this area, Schwartz and Huismans29 examined the
motivational meaning of religiosity by investigating its correlations with values. They
reasoned that religiosity is consistent with the goals of conservation values, particularly
tradition, due to the focus of these values on submitting to transcendental authorities and on
reducing uncertainty by emphasizing self-restriction, order, and resistance to change. In
contrast, religiosity is inconsistent with openness to change values because these values
promote autonomy of thought and action, and embrace novelty and change. Hedonism is
particularly incompatible with religiosity because a primary function of all religions is to
temper self-indulgence and gratification of material desires.
This reasoning led Schwartz and Huismans29 to hypothesize that values relate similarly
to religiosity regardless of the religion in question. Their study supported this hypothesis, as
did numerous subsequent studies that examined samples from a large variety of religions (e.g.
Roman Catholics30 31; Anglicans32; Jews33 13; Muslims34 35; Buddhists36).
The pattern of correlations between values and religiosity was strikingly consistent
across monotheistic religions: religiosity correlated positively with emphasizing conservation
values, most strongly tradition, and negatively with emphasizing values of openness to
change, self-direction, stimulation and hedonism. A meta-analysis of the findings of 21
samples in 15 countries revealed average correlations that ranged from .49 (with tradition) to
-.34 (with hedonism37; see also Roccas & Elster38 for a recent review). Findings further
indicate that values are correlated more strongly with religiosity than with the affiliation with
a specific religion39. In sum, religious individuals differ from non-religious ones in similar
ways across religious groups. This research thus sheds light on the motivational meaning of
Values and career choice. The work domain is another central aspect of life. Most
individuals are heavily invested in their workplace; physically, cognitively and emotionally,
and their occupation is an important aspect of their identity. People with different
occupations are characterized by different value priorities. Thus, for example, managers,
bankers and financial advisors emphasize power and achievement values more than
individuals in other occupations, psychologists and social workers emphasize benevolence
and universalism more than others, and secretaries and bookkeepers emphasize security,
conformity and tradition more than others40. These value profiles are not arbitrary; rather, the
occupations facilitate attainment of the goals that their members consider to be important.
Value congruency, or fit, between people’s values and their work environment is related to
work satisfaction (see a review in Kristof-Brown, Zimmerman, & Johnson41).
What is the source of this value congruency? Do people choose occupations that are
compatible with their values? Or do their values change overtime so that they match their
occupation and workplace? Melvin Kohn and colleagues have examined the effects of the
different characteristics of workplaces on values. In longitudinal analyses over decades, they
found that the importance people attribute to self-direction versus conformity values
increases to the extent to which their work is characterized by low supervision and entails
complex and varied tasks. These effects have transgenerational implications because the
characteristics of the occupational environment of the parents affect the values they wish to
instill in their children42 43 44. These effects are robust, and can be found even in societies
undergoing social change45.
The work of Kohn and colleagues focused on the effects of environmental complexity
on values. Environmental complexity, however, does not fully explain the value differences
between people in different occupations because there are value differences even between
people in occupations that are similar in their complexity. Moreover, there are value
differences between people in different occupations, not only in self-direction and conformity
values, but also in self enhancement and self transcendence values. These value differences
cannot be explained by work complexity.
Studies that compared students from different academic departments at the beginning
and end of their university studies, provide evidence for a value-based self-selection process46
47 48. The findings reveal that value differences between students enrolled in different
departments are already present at the very beginning of the first year of study. This suggests
that individuals rely on their values, at least in part, when choosing the occupation or
profession for which they wish to prepare. In contrast, there is only minimal evidence for the
impact of socialization processes: students’ values hardly changed during the years they spent
at the university46 47. Further research is required to investigate potential effects on values of
long-term organizational socialization49.
Values and Behavior toward Others
Values influence individuals' thoughts, attitudes, choices and decisions. Their impact is
not limited to people's identity, however, they also affect how individuals act toward others.
One domain that has attracted attention is the impact of values on pro-social behavior
actions intended to protect or to enhance the welfare of others. In the review below, we
distinguish between studies of attitudes and behavior toward close others, that is, people with
whom one has direct contact, and studies of attitudes and behavior toward people with whom
one is less likely to have a direct contact, such as members of outgroups.
Values and close others. Much of everyday life involves interaction with others. During
such interaction, people decide how much to invest in the welfare of the others by providing
tangible or intangible resources such as time, advice, or money. Helping others sometimes
comes at the expense of promoting one's own interest. Nonetheless, some people choose to
contribute, cooperate and help others rather than compete. Which values predict whether a
person is likely to help others or not? Many studies have addressed this question.
Benevolence values (one of the self-transcendence values) express the motivation to
care for close others. Most people report that these values are very important to them17.
Nonetheless, people differ in the importance they attribute to benevolence values, and the
more important these values are, the more one is likely to help others. Studying the
relationships between values and daily behaviors, Bardi and Schwartz50 found that the
importance of benevolence values correlated positively with the likelihood of engaging in
helpful acts such as lending things to neighbours or keeping promises (as reported by
themselves and by close others). A recent research in four countries (Poland, Italy, Russia
and the USA) revealed similar findings51. Along the same lines, managers who emphasized
self-transcendence values were evaluated by their employees as behaving more altruistically
than managers who emphasized self-enhancement values52.
Emphasizing benevolence values correlated with various forms of everyday kindness53.
The magnitude of the correlations is typically medium-small to medium-large. People who
emphasize these values were more likely to volunteer to help others54 55, to donate money to a
social cause56, or to emphasize a volunteering identity over time12. Maio and Olson57 showed
that when participants were directed to think about the benefit for others, emphasizing
benevolence values predicted willingness to donate to cancer research above and beyond the
impact of attitudes and social norms. In a recent study conducted in four cultures, participants
who reported their values as part of a survey were later re-contacted and asked to complete
some of the survey again, because the experimenter has allegedly lost some of their data. In
Turkey, self-transcendence (vs. self-enhancement) values positively predicted the helpful
behavior (i.e., re-completing the survey). In the other three cultures (Germany, Israel &
Scotland) the findings had the same pattern, but they were weak and not statistically
Researchers have studied not only the associations between values and pro-social action
but also the causal influence of self-transcendence values on such behavior. Researchers
primed participants in these studies with benevolence values for example, by having them
read benevolence-related words (in the primed benevolence condition) versus unrelated
words (in the control condition). Then, after the experiment was allegedly over, they were
asked to volunteer to help the experimenter with another study even though he could not pay
them (Maio et al. 54 in the UK), and whether they would be willing to donate money to
Amnesty (Verplanken and Holland56 in the Netherlands). In both studies, participants who
were primed with benevolence words acted more altruistically than participants in the other
conditions. In another study, conducted in Israel, the importance of benevolence values was
primed more explicitly: The participants in the experimental condition engaged in a self-
persuasion intervention designed to increase the importance of benevolence values. Following
the intervention, they were asked in an allegedly unrelated part of a questionnaire to
volunteer to help social organizations. Those in the benevolence intervention condition were
twice as likely to volunteer as those in the control condition55.
The effects of values on behavior were also studied in situations involving social-
dilemmas. Social dilemmas confront people with the choice of cooperating with others, at
some cost to themselves, or competing, at the expense. Researchers developed social-
dilemma games (also termed strategic, or economic games) in order to make the incentives
and costs attached to each decision clear. These games allow researchers to investigate overt
behavior that simulates real-life behavior. Values are likely to predict behavior in such
games to the extent that each choice in the game leads to attaining a distinct motivational
Two dilemma games designed to investigate cooperation versus competition illustrate
the impact of values59. Participants were asked to decide whether to cooperate by
contributing an amount of money to their partner (Study 1, conducted in Israel) or to their
group (Study 2, conducted in the US), or to compete (i.e., keep the money for themselves).
In both games, competing was the economically-wise decision, resulting in receiving more
money, regardless of the actions of other participants in the game. The researchers reasoned
that competing would be compatible with emphasizing power values that express the
motivation for power, dominance and control over others, whereas cooperating (i.e.,
contributing money) would be compatible with self-transcendence (in particular
benevolence) values. The findings in both studies were consistent with the expected pattern.
Decisions in social dilemma games have also been related to Social Value Orientations
(SVO), which are preferences for specific types of resource allocations in interdependent
interactions60 61 62.We did not include these studies in the present review because social
value orientations differ from values in that they are inferred from specific patterns of
preference, or choice. Thus, they are narrower than values and contextualized; they are more
similar to specific goals than to values59.
Self-transcendence and power values may not always predict behavior in social-
dilemma games, however. Lönnqvist and colleagues63 suggest that some behaviors are value
expressive they are compatible with one motivation, and are therefore likely to be
consistently related to the values that express this motivation. Other behaviors are value
ambivalent; they can serve more than one motivational goal. In such cases people, with
different value priorities may adopt the same behavior. This leads to inconsistent relationships
between values and behavior. Lönnqvist found support for this distinction in analyses of
behavior in different types of social dilemmas in samples from Germany, Finland and Israel.
Values consistently predicted cooperative behaviors that they classified as value expressive
(correlations were small to medium). In contrast, the impact of values was inconsistent or
weak for behaviors that they classified as value ambivalent.
Values and distant others. Much of the research examining the relations of values to
action toward distant others, examines tolerance toward people who differ from societal
norms in their socio-demographic characteristics (e.g., ethnicity, religion) or in their personal
attitudes and preferences. Analyzing the motivations underlying tolerance and intolerance,
Sagiv and Schwartz64 reasoned that universalism values (a self-transcendence value), which
express concern for the welfare of all others, including those whose life-style differs from
one’s own, foster tolerance toward others. Tolerance is also closely related to the key goals of
openness to change values, because contact with people who are not members of the
dominant society affords opportunities for novelty and excitement and independence from
following the life-style of ones' in-group.
In contrast, tolerance conflicts with the emphasis of conservation values on maintaining
the status quo in social and cultural arrangements. These values promote obedience to
prevailing norms and expectations (conformity values) and avoidance of anything new and
unfamiliar (tradition values). Accepting or mingling with people who deviate from the
dominant culture conflicts with attaining the goals of conservation values. Finally, tolerance
may be compatible or conflicting with the goals of self-enhancement values, depending on
the social context. These values emphasize self-interest; tolerance toward people who
deviate from the dominant culture may promote self-interest in some cases, but hinder it in
Extensive research supports this analysis. Attributing high importance to universalism and
openness-to-change values, and low importance to Conservation values, has been found to
relate to tolerance toward various minority groups by dominant group members in several
cultures. This pattern emerged, for example, in a study of willingness for contact with
members of the Arab minority among Israeli Jews64 and willingness of Israeli and Jordanian
businesspeople for contact with each other65. A similar pattern emerged in studies conducted
in Europe on attitudes toward immigration: Attributing high importance to universalism
values related positively and attributing high importance to conservation values (tradition,
conformity and security) related negatively to favorable attitudes toward immigration66 67 68.
Values predicted tolerant attitudes above and beyond the impact of socio-demographic
variables, and their impact was typically stronger than that of other individual-level variables.
This pattern holds not only for tolerance toward ethnic outgroups but also for tolerance
toward other minority groups. Studies of attitudes toward homosexuality in Europe showed
the same pattern. The more important openness to change and universalism values to people,
and the less important conservation and power values, the more positive their views of
homosexuality69 70 71. Interestingly, the associations of openness to change and conservation
values with attitudes toward homosexuality were especially strong in countries with less
progressive laws regarding homosexuality. That is, when the social context was less tolerant,
the personal values related to group identity (independence from the group or dependence on
the group) had a stronger effect on tolerance. Surveys of attitudes toward a variety of minority
groups (e.g., sexism, anti-Semitism, anti-foreigner attitudes, anti-Muslim attitudes) also
revealed that universalism and conservation values relate directly to tolerance of those who
differ from the dominant group in society72.
Values also relate to attitudes toward members of outgroups in indirect ways. For
example, values shape reactions to members of minority groups by affecting how people
react to diversity in society. In an experimental study conducted in Israel, researchers
manipulated the salience of the heterogeneity or homogeneity of the religious ingroup (Jews)
by showing participants photographs of Jewish weddings. In the homogeneity condition, the
pictures depicted prototypical Jewish-Israeli wedding ceremonies. In the heterogeneity
condition, the pictures depicted non-prototypical weddings, including a wedding of two men
and a wedding of a man and a woman dressed as Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Participants then
reported their willingness for contact with a mixed faith couple (a Jewish woman married to a
Muslim man).
Conservation values moderated the reactions to the photographs. Participants who
attributed high importance to conservation values expressed more tolerance in the
homogeneity than in the heterogeneity condition. In contrast, those who attributed low
importance to conservation values expressed more tolerance in the heterogeneity condition or
were unaffected by the type of pictures. These findings replicated in two other experiments
that exposed the participants to other sets of photographs and other targets of tolerance73.
The moderating impact of values on reactions to heterogeneity was conceptually
replicated in a field study in Israel. The researchers investigated the relationship of the
diversity of individuals’ networks to tolerance. The relative importance of conservation and
openness to change values moderated the effects of network diversity on tolerance74.
Together, these studies indicate the robustness of the finding, pointing to one of the complex
ways in which values affect people's actions and reactions.
The Origins of Values
Values play an important role in psychological functioning in many areas of life. But
where do people’s different value priorities come from and how are they shaped? In order to
answer these questions, we differentiate between the phylogenetic and ontogenetic
perspectives75. The phylogenetic perspective explains why there is a relatively similar, pan-
cultural hierarchy of values across societies. The ontogenetic perspective examines the
processes through which individuals’ hierarchies of values are formed.
The phylogenetic perspective. The phylogenetic perspective suggests that the crucial
role of groups for human survival is the main driving factor in the development of values.
Groups, by their very nature, require their members to communicate about and coordinate
their interests, needs, and behaviors in order to enhance their chances for survival. Through
trial and error, group members develop shared ways of representing their needs and
communicating about them in acceptable ways with their fellow group members. Values are
representations of the socially desirable goals people seek. They are central to the shared
meaning systems that develop as group members seek to coordinate their goal-seeking
activities. Thus, values are a core element of culture76.
According to the phylogenetic perspective, the similarity of the hierarchy of values
found in most cultures is not accidental. It reflects the conditions needed for group survival
and welfare. Because groups are complex systems, the analysis of the conditions essential
for groups to flourish can be described in terms of cybernetics77. Complex systems need to
develop the capacity both (a) for maintaining the stability of relations, resources, and ways
of dealing with internal and external dangers, and (b) for plasticity and adaptation to
changing environmental conditions. The hierarchy of values that groups develop supports
and promotes these capacities.
Empirical research shows wide-spread pan-cultural agreement on the most important
values. In their assessment of value hierarchies in 63 societies, Schwartz and Bardi17 found
that the two values that were almost always at the top of the hierarchy were benevolence and
self-direction. The high priority of benevolence is likely due to its importance for maintaining
in-group cooperation and solidarity, and thereby contributing to the stability of social
relations. The high priority of self-direction is likely due to its importance for encouraging
and supporting plasticity by motivating independent initiatives and novel ideas and solutions.
Because groups require both stability and plasticity in order to survive, these same two values
are the most important in most cultures that have been studied.
Although there is wide-spread pan-cultural agreement at the country level, research
and everyday experience tell us that individuals differ substantially in what they consider
important. The ontogenetic perspective seeks to explain the inter-individual diversity of value
The ontogenetic perspective. There is growing evidence that value hierarchies are
shaped quite early. The circular structure of values is found among 5-12 year olds78 79. This
indicates that children at age 5 already distinguish between the different values and that their
value hierarchies reflect the conflicts and compatibilities between the values. However, the
importance of specific values changes over time as part of psychosocial development during
childhood and adolescence80. Individuals’ hierarchies of values stabilize during adolescence
and change little during adulthood82, as a relatively stable core element of personal identity82.
Individual differences in value priorities derive from both biologically based
individual temperament/personality and social and cultural influences80. Several studies
provide estimates of the genetic bases of value preferences. Uzefovsky, Döring and Knafo-
Noam83 estimated that genetics accounts for 29%–47% of preferences for the higher order
values, except openness, among 7 year-old children. Other estimates are 28%–55% for the
dimensions of openness vs. conservation and of self-enhancement vs. self-transcendence
among 7-11 year-olds84, and 11%–38% for all values except achievement, among 18–33 year-
olds85. These levels of heritability are only slightly lower than the approximately 40%
estimated for personality traits86.
The particular social and cultural surroundings into which a child is born and grows is
the other critical influence on value priorities. Parents and other primary caregivers are the
main transmitters of values, directly or indirectly87. Families are powerful vehicles of value
socialization. Parents generally desire their children to have values similar to their own and,
indeed, there is high congruence between the value hierarchies of parents and those of their
children88 89. Value transmission within a family involves an active process in which children
perceive the values of their parents more or less accurately and choose to adopt or reject the
values they perceive90 91. The closer children feel to their parents the more similar they
perceive their values to be92. Yet, much of the value similarity between parents and children
is due not to direct value transmission from parents to children but to the environment and to
the culture they share. For example, parents and children share the same socio-economic
status and both are exposed to the same cultural institutions (see Hitlin and Piliavin7 for a
As children enter adolescence, they gain increased influence over the environment to
which they are exposed. They are freer to choose their friends and shape a social network93.
Adolescents become more and more embedded in social institutions outside the family where
they may acquire values that contribute to their unique value hierarchies.
In sum, research has revealed many factors effecting the development of values, ranging
from genetic factors, to the immediate social environment, to the impact of societal
institutions such as family and school, to the impact of societal culture. To date, no unifying
model has been proposed that integrates these factors and identifies their relative importance.
Stability and Change of Values
The importance of values leads researchers to investigate their stability and change. Can
people change their values? Laypeople as well as researchers often assume that people can
change their values quite easily, especially compared with other personality attributes such as
traits. They assume that people can simply change their minds about their value priorities
because values are subjective and reflect what they themselves consider important. Contrary
to this assumption, however, when adults were asked whether they could change their values
should they want to, they said it would be very difficult, even more difficult than changing
their traits14. Attempting to explain this finding, Roccas and colleagues14 reasoned that
changing one's values entails altering the very core of one's identity; individuals therefore
perceive such change as difficult and unlikely.
Numerous studies reveal that values are relatively stable over time (see a review in
Bardi and Goodwin94). Longitudinal studies revealed high test-retest stability of values in the
short term (e.g., one month, around .70-.90). Stability remains high after two, three and even
eight years (.50 to .70 95 96 20). Considering that contextual factors and even random noise may
affect individuals' reports of their value priorities, the extent of consistency in values across
time is remarkable.
Values do sometimes change, however. Research indicates that major life-transitions
can produce substantial value change. Migrating to a culture that emphasizes values
different from those emphasized in one's culture of origin is a notable example. A study of
immigrants from Russia to Finland97 revealed changes in the personal values of the
immigrants. After about 19 months in Finland, the importance of universalism and security
increased, and the importance of power and achievement decreased. Another study,
focusing on Polish immigrants to the UK, indicated that their values were similar to those of
individuals in the UK even before migrating (i.e., there was evidence for value-based self-
selection). However, after 18-21 months in the UK there was also some evidence for value
change: Immigrants' self-direction and power values changed to become similar to those of
people in the UK47. Importantly, in both studies, the correlations between personal values
before and after the migration, was high (Lönnqvist et al.97: .37-.63; .68-1 after correcting
for internal reliability; Bardi et al47: .50-.69).
Is it possible to deliberately change the value priorities of another person? Social
institutions often seek to shape the values of their members55. Apparently, however, this is not
a simple task. Studies indicate, for example, that university training and socialization change
values minimally, if at all46 47 48. Some researchers have described intervention programs that
trigger value change, including self-confrontation4 98 54 and self-persuasion55 interventions (see
a review in Roccas, Sagiv and Navon99).
Research on value change further shows that the structure of within-person values
change was similar to the prototypical structure of values (see Figure 1): When the
importance of a value increased, the importance of its opposing value tended to decrease100 97
. This finding is consistent with the view that values form a consistent meaning system. A
change in one aspect of the system is accompanied by consistent changes in other parts of
the system.
Concluding remarks
Values are a core aspect of people's identity and they affect their attitudes and
behaviors. In this review we have drawn from research conducted in many sub-disciplines
of psychology: personality, social, developmental, occupational, organizational and cross-
cultural. Together, this research shows that values can serve as a unifying construct that
bridges sub-disciplines of psychology. Studying values provides insight into the ways
people are motivated by stable goals that they wish to attain. Values, due to their abstract
nature, predict behavior across different social contexts and the same value can predict very
different behaviors. Thus for example, conservation values predict both religiosity and (in)
tolerance toward others. Moreover, values form an integrated meaning system. Therefore
studying a behavior while taking into account the full spectrum of human values allows for
a deep understanding of the multiple motivations that direct a single behavior.
We exemplified the research on the consequences of values by focusing on identity
and on behavior directed to others. Research on the consequences of values not only helps
predict behavior, it contributes to understanding the motivation underlying behaviors and
the complex interplay between personality and the social context.
To-date, much is known about the content of the values-behavior relationships. More
research is needed, however, that to investigate the processes through which values are
translated into behavior. Some of the studies reviewed above pointed to such paths of
influence. Future research could enrich this line of work which could be instrumental to
organizational and social attempts to motivate action.
In contrast to the numerous studies investigating the consequences of values, much
less is known about the origin of values. Discussing the phylogenetic and ontogenetic
perspectives, we reviewed recent theorizing and evidence on this important issue. These
newly developments in value research suggest that personal values are formed through a
combination of genetic heritage and the impact of exposure to multiple social
environments, including family, school, community and society at large. An intriguing
question future research is how values are grounded in the neuro-biological system.
Combined together, interdisciplinary research will enable a better understanding of the
complex interplay between these factors in forming personal value hierarchies.
Competing interests
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Table 1.
Value definitions in Schwartz Value Theory (adapted from Cieciuch et al.101)
10 basic values
Definitions of 10 basic values
(in parentheses, value items)519 values in the refined values theory21
Independent thought and action—
choosing, creating, and exploring
(freedom, creativity, independent,
choosing my own goals, curiosity)
Self-Direction—Thought (the freedom to
cultivate one’s own ideas and abilities)
Self-Direction—Action (the freedom to
determine one’s own actions)
Stimulation Excitement, novelty, and challenge in life
(exciting life, varied life, daring) Stimulation—Definition unchanged
Pleasure and sensuous gratification for
oneself (pleasure, enjoying life, self-
Hedonism—Definition unchanged
Personal success through demonstrating
competence according to social standards
(ambitious, capable, influential,
Achievement—Definition unchanged
Social status and prestige, control or
dominance over people and resources
(social power, wealth, authority)
Power —Dominance (power through
exercising control over people)
Power—Resources (power through control
of material and social resources)
Face (security and power through
maintaining one’s public image and
avoiding humiliation)
Safety, harmony and stability of society,
relationships, and self (social order,
national security, family security,
reciprocation of favors, clean)
Security—Personal (safety in one’s
immediate environment)
Security—Societal (safety and stability in
the wider society)
The restraint of actions, inclinations, and
impulses that are likely to upset or harm
others and violate social expectations or
norms (politeness, self-discipline, respect
for elders, obedient)
Conformity—Rules (compliance with
rules, laws, and formal obligations)
Conformity—Interpersonal (avoidance of
upsetting or harming other people)
Respect, commitment and acceptance of
the customs and ideas that traditional
culture or religion provides (respect for
tradition, modest, humble, accepting my
portion in life, devout)
Tradition (maintaining and preserving
cultural, family or religious traditions)
Humility (recognizing one’s insignificance
in the larger scheme of things)
Preservation and enhancement of the
welfare of people with whom one is in
frequent personal contact (loyal,
responsible, honest, helpful, forgiving)
Benevolence—Dependability (being a
reliable and trustworthy member of the
Benevolence—Caring (commitment to the
welfare of ingroup members)
Understanding, appreciation, tolerance and
protection for the welfare of all people and
of nature (equality, unity with nature,
wisdom, world of peace, world of beauty,
social justice, broadminded, protecting
the environment)
Universalism—Concern (commitment to
equality, justice and protection for all
Universalism—Nature (preservation of the
natural environment)
Universalism—Tolerance (acceptance and
understanding of those who are different
from oneself)
Figure 1. The Content and Structure of Human Values. From Davidov, Schmidt, and
Schwartz23, p.425.
Box 1. Cultural-Level Values: Values of Social Collectives
Cultural values are shared, abstract ideas about what a social collective considers as
good and desirable1. They reflect the goals that members of the social collective
(e.g., nation, organization, family) are encouraged to pursue. Culture values serve to
justify actions that are taken in the pursuit of these goals, by members and leaders of
the collective2. Cultural researchers have theorized that basic, universal problems
confront all societies. The different solutions developed for these problems, or
challenges, are reflected in distinct dimensions of cultural values102.
Large-scale empirical studies of cultural values have focused most extensively on
nations. Geert Hofstede originated the first major endeavor, studying the responses
of more than 110,000 IBM employees from 50 nations. Hofstede identified four value
dimensions: individualism vs. collectivism, power distance, masculinity vs. femininity
and uncertainty avoidance103. These dimensions were empirically driven; Hofstede
concluded, however, that they were strikingly similar to the dimensions proposed by
Inkeles and Levinson104. Later development of the theory led to the inclusion of two
additional dimensions. The long term orientation dimension was drawn from the work
of Michael Bond, who sought to avoid Western bias in the cross cultural study of
values by developing a value measure based on Chinese culture105. The indulgence
versus restraint dimension was drawn from the work of Michael Minkov, who derived
this dimension from analyses of the World Values Survey106 107.
Another large-scale project was initiated by Shalom Schwartz. After establishing a
cross-cultural equivalence in the meaning of values at the individual level, Schwartz
aggregated these values to create cultural-level indices. He studied students and/or
teacher samples from 68 countries and found consistent cultural differences in the
two populations108. Schwartz considered three basic issues that confront all societies,
and derived three bipolar cultural dimensions that reflect contradictory solutions to
those issues or challenges. The first issue regards the relationships between a
person and a group, and is reflected in the cultural dimension of autonomy versus
embeddedness. The second challenge, how to ensure responsible social behavior, is
reflected in the cultural dimension of hierarchy versus egalitarianism. Finally, the third
issue regards the relationships between humanity and nature, is reflected in the
cultural dimension of mastery versus harmony2.
Whereas all other large-scale projects examined values of specific groups in
society, the value project headed by Ronald Inglehart studied representative
samples. He identified two main value dimensions: survival versus self-expression
values, and traditional versus secular-rational values. The dimensions were originally
based on analyses of data from 43 societies studied in the 1990 World Values
Survey, and were validated in subsequent years with numerous additional
countries109 110. This large dataset allowed for systematic study of global trends in
value change across cultures111.
The cultural dimensions identified by these and other research projects (e.g., the
GLOBE project112, work originated by Fons Trompennars113) show considerable
theoretical and empirical overlap. Cultural values were found to predict a variety of
social, political and organizational outcomes 108 114 115 116.
... The self-enhancement values encourage people to pursue personal interests, contrary to people with self-transcendence values, who are usually selfless and have concern for others (Schwartz & Sortheix, 2018;Schwart, 1992). Moreover, individuals with conservation values are more concerned about security, ready to conform to and preserve the status quo or traditions (Davidov et al., 2020;Sagiv et al., 2017). Finally, according to Schwart, individuals with openness to change values easily accept change and welcome new ideas (Sagiv et al., 2017;Schwart, 1992). ...
... Moreover, individuals with conservation values are more concerned about security, ready to conform to and preserve the status quo or traditions (Davidov et al., 2020;Sagiv et al., 2017). Finally, according to Schwart, individuals with openness to change values easily accept change and welcome new ideas (Sagiv et al., 2017;Schwart, 1992). ...
This study develops and validates a model, based on personal cultural values theory and psychological research, in relation to technology adoption. The model focuses specifically on the future use of on-demand air mobility (ODAM), which is expected to have significant implications for city commuting and personal well-being in the years ahead. We employ a path modelling approach, in addition to recently advanced analytical methods such as the finite mixture partial least squares (FIMIX-PLS), measurement invariance of composite models (MICOM) and multi-group analysis, to validate the model using a dataset of 627 young consumers from the Czech Republic. The research model explains 45.2 percent variation in the future use of ODAM using our global model. This variance explained in the future use of ODAM increases to 62.3 percent and 64.5 percent respectively, when we segment our data set into two groups. The results also show that tradition has significant influence on technology anxiety, personal innovativeness, and desire to use ODAM. Independence positively affects personal innovativeness but not the desire to use ODAM. We also find that technology anxiety influences the desire to use, which in turn influences the future use of ODAM. However, we find group differences in the influence of ambiguity intolerance on technology anxiety, desire and personal innovativeness. Thus, the study also evaluates the existence of significant differences between two groups in our dataset. Overall, the study suggests that individual cultural values play a particularly important role in influencing the future use of ODAM through psychological characteristics. The research implications of the study are discussed in the article.
... The current investigation attempts to shift the focus away from the effects of inequality on society to the psychological impact that inequality -as a central socio-economic ambient element of people's living environmentshas on individuals. We aim to do so by shedding light on how inequality relates to basic human values, as core motivational constructs predicting attitudes and behaviors (Sagiv et al., 2017). ...
... Values are trans-situational goals that vary in importance and serve as guiding principles for individuals and social groups (Schwartz, 1992;Schwartz et al., 2012). Values shape personal and social identity (e.g., religiosity, occupation) and affect how people treat one another (e.g., prosocial behaviors, tolerance towards people with different societal norms; Sagiv et al., 2017). Thus, investigating the links between economic inequality and values can inform our understanding of why and how economic inequality shapes society. ...
Objective: This research investigates how economic inequality shapes basic human values across three cross-national, cross-regional, and longitudinal studies (Ntotal = 219,697). Methods: Study 1 examined the relationship between objective economic inequality and values across 77 societies from all five continents (n = 170,525). Study 2 examined the relationship between objective economic inequality and values across 51 regions in the United States (n = 48,559). Study 3 used a two-year longitudinal design to examine the relationship between perceived economic inequality and values (n = 613). Results: Results from multilevel modelling and longitudinal analysis suggested that people who live in areas with higher economic inequality and who perceive higher economic inequality are more likely to endorse achievement and power values. Moreover, people who perceived higher economic inequality were less likely to endorse benevolence values. These effects were robust in within-country tests (Studies 2 and 3) but not in the cross-country tests (Study 1) when accounting for sociodemographic characteristics. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that economic inequality may act as an antecedent of self-enhancement values, particularly within countries. In a world of rising economic inequality this may over time lead to an overemphasis on achievement and power which have been shown to erode social cohesion.
... personal values are important constructs for the prediction of attitudes and behaviors (TORRES; SCHWARTZ; NASCIMENTO, 2016), something that has been confirmed in many studies (e.g., SAGIV et al., 2017). They are broad categories of individual differences important to the study of persons and are, by definition, assumed to be cross-situationally and cross-temporally consistent (DOLLINGER;LEONG;ULICNI, 1996). ...
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The objective of this research was to test statistically significant correlations between personal values and employee’s use of sources of guidance when dealing with different events at work, comparing the United States and Brazil. 220 employees from a Brazilian university and 166 employees from an American university filled out a paper-and-pencil questionnaire comprised of two previously-validated scales. Based on the theoretical review, 8 hypotheses were raised to be empirically tested. The findings have practical implications for administrators and human resource professionals, who can benefit from knowledge about correlations between the constructs, especially when it comes to recruiting and selecting processes. Although the research was restricted to analyzing correlations, it elaborated a robust ground for future causality investigations and shed light on the importance of investigating specificities of work-related constructs in different nations, aiming at effective and contextualized management practices in times of raising globalization and internationalization.
... However, this does not mean we are completely in the dark about the empirical aspects of the relationship between general moral values and concrete moral behavior. First, to get a better grasp of this relationship, it is insightful to turn to the more general field of value research, which focuses on the broader concept of basic or personal values (Schwartz, 1992;Sagiv et al., 2017). This field has extensively and more systematically studied the empirical relationship between values and behavior than has so far been done in the moral domain. ...
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Within moral psychology, theories focusing on the conceptualization and empirical measurement of people’s morality in terms of general moral values –such as Moral Foundation Theory- (implicitly) assume general moral values to be relevant concepts for the explanation and prediction of behavior in everyday life. However, a solid theoretical and empirical foundation for this idea remains work in progress. In this study we explore this relationship between general moral values and daily life behavior through a conceptual analysis and an empirical study. Our conceptual analysis of the moral value-moral behavior relationship suggests that the effect of a generally endorsed moral value on moral behavior is highly context dependent. It requires the manifestation of several phases of moral decision-making, each influenced by many contextual factors. We expect that this renders the empirical relationship between generic moral values and people’s concrete moral behavior indeterminate. Subsequently, we empirically investigate this relationship in three different studies. We relate two different measures of general moral values -the Moral Foundation Questionnaire and the Morality As Cooperation Questionnaire- to a broad set of self-reported morally relevant daily life behaviors (including adherence to COVID-19 measures and participation in voluntary work). Our empirical results are in line with the expectations derived from our conceptual analysis: the considered general moral values are poor predictors of the selected daily life behaviors. Furthermore, moral values that were tailored to the specific context of the behavior showed to be somewhat stronger predictors. Together with the insights derived from our conceptual analysis, this indicates the relevance of the contextual nature of moral decision-making as a possible explanation for the poor predictive value of general moral values. Our findings suggest that the investigation of morality’s influence on behavior by expressing and measuring it in terms of general moral values may need revision.
... In der ersten Phase des Seminars haben die Studierenden die Aufgabe, in Gruppen eine theoriegeleitete Forschungsfrage und möglichst konkrete Hypothesen zu entwickeln. Zunächst geht es darum, den Studierenden grundlegende Theorien und Befunde aus der Sozialpsychologie an die Hand zu geben, in diesem Fall z.B. zur Theorie der sozialen Identität (Hornsey, 2008;Tajfel & Turner, 2004), der Identifikation und Leitung des Verhaltens durch Grundwerte (Sagiv et al., 2017;Schwartz et al., 2012) sowie zur Bedrohung der Identität und deren Konsequenzen (Jonas et al., 2014;Steele, 1997). Von Beginn an wird dabei das in der psychologischen Forschung so wichtige Übersetzen zwischen der Theorieebene und der Operationalisierungsebene in einem bestimmten Anwendungskontext thematisiert und geübt. ...
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Forschendes Lernen ist Teil der Diskussion um gelingende Lehrkräftebildung in der Hochschullehre. Mit der Einführung von Langzeitpraktika in der Lehrkräftebildung hat das Konzept des forschenden Lernens in den letzten Jahren wieder verstärkt Aufmerksamkeit erfahren. Ein Ziel dabei ist, dass (angehende) Lehrkräfte Herausforderungen im Beruf mit einer forschenden Grundhaltung gegenübertreten. In diesem Sammelband werden gelungene Beispiele von „Forschungsarbeiten“ von Studierenden der Lehrkräftebildung dargestellt. Dazu werden Seminarkonzepte aus den Bereichen Naturwissenschaften, Musik, Bildungswissenschaft, Mathematik und Kunst, der angewandten Sozialpsychologie sowie dem Unterrichtsfach Deutsch vorgestellt. Gerahmt wird der Band durch eine umfangreiche theoretische Einführung in das Konzept des forschenden Lernens und seiner Umsetzung an der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg.
... Processes adopted by servant leadership to cause such a change have been previously discussed. Once, employees have brought a transformational change in their values moving from self-enhancement to self-transcendence, altruism, and universalism associated with self-transcendence (Sagiv et al., 2017;Schwartz, 2010) provide the required drive to indulge in other-oriented servant behavior. In short, employees learning from the employee-centric attitude and behavior of their leaders, become other-oriented and consequently seek opportunities for the enhancement of others. ...
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Purpose – This paper intends to ascertain whether servant leadership can trigger servant colleagueship among subordinates. Additionally, the study is set out to divulge the mediating role of selftranscendence relating servant leadership to servant colleagueship. Design/Methodology/Approach – Data was collected from the respondents in three waves that were two months apart. In the first wave, employees rated their managers’ servant leadership behavior. In the second wave, employees rated their self-transcendence, and finally, they rated their colleaguedirected servant behavior. The final sample size for the study was 209 employees employed in the service sector. Structural equational modeling through Smart-PLS and hierarchical regression through SPSS were used for data analysis. Findings – The Study found servant leadership to be related to self-transcendence and employees' enacted servant colleagueship. Additionally, the study found self-transcendence to mediate the relationship between servant leadership and servant colleagueship. Originality/value – The study has established the previously unexplored mediating role of selftranscendence linking servant leadership to servant colleagueship. The study is also the first to empirically test the relationship between self-transcendence and servant colleagueship. Keywords Servant leadership, self-transcendence, servant colleagueship
... On the one hand are the studies which have found a significant relationship between values and behaviour in areas such as voting (Caprara et al., 2017), selection of studies (Sagiv et al., 2017;Bardi, Buchanan, Goodwin, Slabu, and Robinson, 2014), creativity (Taylor and Kaufman, 2020), academic achievement (Tough, 2013) and career choice (Sagiv and Schwartz, 2002), among others. One area in particular where behaviour has consistently been linked to values by a number of researchers is pro-social behaviour (Caprara and Steca, 2007;Schwartz, 2010;Schwartz, Cieciuch, Vecchione, Torres, Dirilem-Gumus, and Butenko, 2017). ...
To accelerate green and low-carbon development and improve resource utilization efficiency, China has proposed a waste sorting policy. However, the smooth development of waste sorting is affected by the cultural values of residents. Taoist culture is a unique form of traditional Chinese culture. Studying the influence of Taoist cultural values on Chinese residents' waste sorting behaviour is a meaningful strand of research. This study introduced Taoist cultural values into planned behaviour theory to expand the framework to explore the influencing factors of waste sorting in China. This study used structural equation model (SEM) to investigate the waste sorting behaviour of 655 residents in Tangshan, China. The main hypotheses of this paper are that attitude, subjective norms, perceived behaviour control, and Taoist cultural values can directly affect residents' behavioural intention to actively sort waste and that Taoist cultural values indirectly affect residents' behavioural intentions by affecting residents' psychological factors. Notably, the study confirmed that perceived behaviour control and behavioural intention can affect residents' waste sorting behaviour positively and significantly. Thus, the findings of this study suggest changing residents' waste sorting behaviour by emphasizing Taoist cultural values. To achieve this objective, we suggest that the government build a platform to guide and publicize Taoist cultural values, publicize the harmonious coexistence between humans and nature, and increase environmental protection awareness in the Chinese people. Finally, the study shows that an extended theory of planned behaviour (TPB) is suitable for research on residents’ waste sorting behaviour.
The transmission of human values plays a key role in the educational landscape around the world (Matthes, 2014; Beck, 1990; Halstead, 1996), and educational frameworks (c.f. OECD, 2019; Council of Europe, 2016) as well as national school curricula (c.f. National Curriculum, Ofsted, 2018; Lehrplan 21, D-EDK, 2016) are based on values that are considered important. However, empirical research into how values are structurally reflected in school curricula and how these values are perceived in the school environment by teachers is very limited. This mixed-methods study is the first of its kind to provide findings based on data from Switzerland, where a new comprehensive curriculum has recently been introduced. Schwartz's theory of basic human values (1992), the most widely researched values framework, serves as its conceptual framework. A Qualitative Content Analysis of the Swiss educational curriculum (Lehrplan 21, D-EDK, 2016) revealed a wealth of references to values, with a focus on values belonging to Schwartz’ higher order values Openness to Change (Basic values: Self-Direction and Stimulation), Conservation (Tradition, Conformity and Security) and Self-Transcendence (Benevolence and Universalism). On the other hand, values belonging to the higher order value of Self-Enhancement (Power and Achievement) did not play an important role in the investigated curriculum. In a complementary quantitative study, the value statements from the Swiss educational curriculum were embedded in a questionnaire, which 108 (102 female (94.4%), 6 male (5.6%)) primary school teachers completed with regard to how they perceive the value-oriented curricular contents in their school environment. Multidimensional Scaling revealed that teachers’ perception of value-oriented curricular contents in their school environment was structured alongside Schwartz's motivational continuum of values, with values of Openness to Change being opposed to values of Conservation, and values of Self-Transcendence being opposed to values of Self-Enhancement.
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Purpose – Population aging has emerged as a powerful megatrend affecting many countries, including Hungary. This demographic change will impact on many aspects of life, especially on consumption. The senior consumer market is becoming an increasingly important market for marketing professionals to understand and address. With this in mind, this paper is aimed at gaining a better understanding of older Hungarian consumers by exploring cognitive age and the importance and realization of personal values. Design/Methodology/Approach – An online study carried out on a sample of 281 respondents among the Hungarian population aged 50–65 to collect data which was analyzed to answer the research questions. Measurement scales were adapted to measure the importance and realization of personal values and the cognitive age of the respondents. Findings and Implications – A comparison of the importance and realization value scales revealed differences in the value rankings among the cognitive age groups. The correspondence between the realization and importance of values differed among the values, with the highest consistency found for modesty, generosity, sincerity, and honesty. An understanding of the values which are the most important to potential consumers (as life goals) and realized to the highest degree can provide useful information for decision-making on product positioning, branding, and communications.
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Individual and cross-cultural factors associated with attitudes toward homosexual people were examined in this study. Using cross-sectional data from the sixth biennial European Social Survey, which represents 36,959 individuals nested within 28 European countries, successive nested models were tested using multilevel modeling (MLM). Results found that attitudes varied cross- culturally as a function of people’s country of residence—this clustering effect was controlled for in all subsequent models. Individual-level predictors (Level 1) of male gender, older age, less education, being an immigrant to one’s residing country, conservative political affiliation, high religiosity, perceptions that politics in one’s country were unfair, low openness to change values, low self-transcendence values, high conservation values, and high self-enhancement values were significantly linked with anti-homosexuality attitudes. At the country level (Level 2), a high emphasis on social conservatism and fewer civil rights for homosexuals was connected with more unfavorable attitudes. Findings indicate main effects of predictors at both levels; however, country-level variables tended to yield stronger coefficients than individual-level factors, highlighting the contributions of macro- and microfactors in simultaneously shaping attitudes toward homosexuality. Beyond these effects, interactions of country- and individual-level variables show political affiliation, religiosity, self-enhancement values as stronger predictors in liberal countries, but openness to change values, younger age, and higher education as stronger predictors in conservative countries. Implications are discussed for understanding the wide continuum of views toward homosexuality across people and countries.
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We assess the predictive and discriminant validity of the basic values in the refined value theory (Schwartz et al., 2012) by examining how value tradeoffs predict behavior in Italy, Poland, Russia, and the USA. 1857 respondents reported their values and rated their own and a partner’s behavior. Multigroup CFA supported the distinctiveness of the 19 values and the 19 self- and other-rated behaviors. MDS analyses supported the circular motivational order of the 19 values. Findings affirmed the theorizing that behavior depends upon tradeoffs between values that propel and inhibit it. Across four countries, value importance, behavior frequency, and gender failed to moderate the strength of value-behavior relations. This raises the question of the conditions under which the widely cited assumption that normative pressure weakens value-behavior relations holds.
What are values? How are they different from attitudes, traits, and specific goals? How do our values influence our behavior, and vice versa? How does our culture and environment impact the relationship between values and behavior? These questions and more are rigorously examined by prominent and emerging scholars in this significant volume Values and Behavior: Taking A Cross Cultural Perspective. Personal values are cognitive representations of abstract, desirable motivational goals that guide the way individuals select actions, evaluate people and events, and explain their actions and evaluations. The unique features of values have implications for their impact on behavior. People are highly satisfied with their values and perceive them as close to their ideal selves. At the same time, however, daily interpersonal interaction reveals that individuals hold different, sometimes opposing, value profiles. These individual differences are even more apparent when individuals from different cultures interact. The collected chapters address the links between values and behavior from a cultural perspective. They review studies conducted in various cultures and discuss culture as a moderator of the relationships between values and behavior. Structurally, part I of the volume discusses what values are and how they should be measure; part II then examines the contents of the relationships between values and behavior in different life-domains, including prosocial behavior, aggression, behavior in organizations and relationships formation. Part III explores some of the moderating mechanisms that relate values to behavior. Taken together, these chapters review and synthesize over twenty years of research on values and behavior, and propose new insights that have important implications for both research and for practice.
The construct of values is central to many fields in social sciences and humanities. The last two decades have seen a growing body of psychological research on values, investigating their content, structure, and consequences in many cultures. In research and in everyday life, values are often confused with other personal attributes, such as attitudes, traits, and specific goals. But values are a distinct construct, differing from other personal attributes in important ways. The unique features of values have implications for their impact on behavior. In this chapter, we discuss the commonalities and differences between values and closely related constructs by taking a careful look at the definition of values. We start by presenting the definition of values. Then—taking a cross-cultural perspective—we review, organize, and integrate research on the nature of values. We point to the similarities and differences between values and other constructs and discuss the implications of value characteristics for relationships between values and behavior.
Recent research has shown that the Schwartz circular structure of values exists at the intra-individual level within adults. We extend this work by testing whether this structure also exists within children. We analysed responses from 748 Australian children (5 to 12 year-olds). We show, for the first time, that the circular structure of values exists within children as young as five. There is some evidence of greater differentiation with age. Further, we show that girls and boys share the same structure, but differ in their values priorities. Boys were generally located closer to self-enhancement and openness to change values, whereas girls were generally located closer to self-transcendence and conservation values. These results are discussed in light of the developmental literature.
This book contends that beneath the frenzied activism of the sixties and the seeming quiescence of the seventies, a "silent revolution" has been occurring that is gradually but fundamentally changing political life throughout the Western world. Ronald Inglehart focuses on two aspects of this revolution: a shift from an overwhelming emphasis on material values and physical security toward greater concern with the quality of life; and an increase in the political skills of Western publics that enables them to play a greater role in making important political decisions.
Recent studies have examined whether values change across time. The present study investigates both rank-order stability and mean-level differences in core values-and whether age and sex moderate stability and change-over 3 years using a national probability sample (from 25 to 75 years;N= 3,962). Value priorities were highly stable, except for Conservation values among women, which peaked in stability at age 50 and decreased afterward. Older adults and women placed greater emphasis on values relating to the welfare of others and preservation of traditional practices and stability (Self-Transcendence and Conservation values). Younger individuals and men tended to more highly value the pursuit of status and power, and independent thought and behavior (Self-Enhancement and Openness to Change). The results are consistent with a life span perspective on values development and indicate values may change slowly throughout life as a reflection of biological and psychological maturation.
Findings from previous studies corroborate the hypothesis that universalism and conservation values are associated with negative attitudes toward immigration. In the current study we examine whether universalism and conservation values also play a critical role in the explanation of attitudes toward other minority groups. Drawing on previous research on group-focused enmity, we explore its relations with universalism and conservation values in a German sample. Employing structural equation modeling, we find that individuals who prioritize universalism values approve of various minorities more whereas those who prioritize conservation values exhibit more disapproval.
Contemporary business schools are expected to educate their students to embrace ethical and prosocial values. But can business schools rise to this challenge? Comparing a business school to another professional school, social work, that encourages prosocial values, we investigated value profiles as reflected in school websites and among their students. The findings show that the business school expresses self-enhancement values (power and achievement) more, and prosocial values (benevolence and universalism) less than the social work school. We further investigated self-selection and socialization as complementary organizational processes that may lead to and sustain the value profile of each school. Our findings show that as early as the first week of studies, freshmen's values are congruent with the value profile of their departments, indicating a value-based self-selection process. To investigate socialization, we compared freshmen and seniors and conducted a yearlong study among freshmen. The findings revealed a small change in students' values throughout their training, providing only some support for value socialization. Altogether, our findings suggest that business schools that are interested in prosocial students should attract and select students that emphasize these values, rather than rely on socialization attempts.
Theories of value development often identify adolescence as the period for value formation, and cultural and familial factors as the sources for value priorities. However, recent research suggests that value priorities can be observed as early as in middle childhood, and several studies, including one on preadolescents, have suggested a genetic contribution to individual differences in values. In the current study, 174 pairs of monozygotic and dizygotic seven-year-old Israeli twins completed the Picture-based Value Survey for Children (PBVS–C). We replicated basic patterns of relations between value priorities and variables of socialization—gender, religiosity, and socioeconomic status—that have been found in studies with adults. Most important, values of Self-transcendence, Self-enhancement, and Conservation, were found to be significantly affected by genetic factors (29 percent, 47 percent, and 31 percent, respectively), as well as non-shared environment (71 percent, 53 percent, and 69 percent, respectively). Openness to change values, in contrast, were found to be unaffected by genetic factors at this age and were influenced by shared (19 percent) and non-shared (81 percent) environment. These findings support the recent view that values are formed at earlier ages than had been assumed previously, and they further our understanding of the genetic and environmental factors involved in value formation at young ages.