Sociology Index

VALUES

Values are relatively general cultural prescriptions of what is right, moral and desirable. Values provide the broad foundations for specific normative regulation of social interaction. Personal values are based on the influence of external world and can change over time. Personal values are related to choice and are generally influenced by groups or systems, such as culture or religion. Moral values help determine what is morally right or wrong, like freedom, fairness, and equality. Value systems are proscriptive and prescriptive beliefs and they affect ethical behavior of a person. Primary values are generally strong and secondary values are suitable for changes.

What makes an action valuable may in turn depend on the ethical values of the objects it increases, decreases or alters. Values are one of the factors that generate behavior and influence the choices made by an individual. Personal values provide an internal reference for what is good, beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, desirable and constructive. Personal values exist in relation to cultural values, either in agreement with or divergence from prevailing norms. Without normative personal values, there would be no cultural reference against which to measure the virtue of individual values and so cultural identity would disintegrate.

Self and Values - An Interactivist Foundation for Moral Development 
Robert L. Campbell, Clemson University, John Chambers Christopher, Montana State University, Mark H. Bickhard, Lehigh University. The standard research programs in moral development have been criticized for adopting a narrow and restrictive view of the moral domain. There has been a dearth of alternative theories that account for the diversity of mature moral viewpoints both within and outside Western culture. We present an interactivist framework that takes into account the plurality of moral perspectives. It does so by addressing fundamental issues of psychological ontology and providing an account of values and the self based on the interactivist conception of knowledge and the knowing-levels treatment of consciousness and developmental stages. We discuss foundational questions such as the nature of the self, how it develops and the relationship between the self and values or morals, with special attention to the nature and source of value conflicts.

The Measurement of Values and Individualism-Collectivism 
Shigehiro Oishi, Uhich Schimmack, Ed Diener, Eunkook M. Suh, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 24, No. 11, 1177-1189 (1998). This study presents alternative measures of S. H. Schwartz's theory of values using pairwise comparisons and goal concepts. Not only did the three measures of values-the Schwartz Value Survey (SVS), the Pairwise Comparison Value Survey (PCVS), and the Personal Striving Value Survey (PSVS) - converge but they were also correlated in similar ways with the Individualism-Collectivism Scale (ICS). This provides evidence that the newly developed scales can be alternatives to the Schwartz Value Survey, which allows future studies of values using multiple measures. Moreover, the findings provide support for Schwartz's conception of values as higher order goals. The present findings have several implications for the study of values and their linkage to the study of individualism-collectivism and the self-concept.