Personal values are effective indicators of attitudes and behaviour in a variety of situations. Since the advent of Schwartz’s theory of basic values, researchers have been concentrating their efforts on uncovering universal patterns in value–attitude relationships. While there is some evidence for such universal patterns, as recent studies have shown, there is still a lot of variance in value–attitude and value–behavior relationships between cultures and circumstances. In this study, we develop the concept of value-instantiating beliefs, which extends the previous research on possible moderators.
Personal values are individual concepts of what is desirable that govern behaviour in everyday activities such as donating to charity or spending time with family, as well as in life-altering decisions. In the abstract, individuals tend to agree on what is desirable, good, and significant in life: kindness, health, personal achievement, learning, and fairness are all acknowledged as appropriate end-goals without much thought. When it comes to how abstract values are translated into physical conduct, however, historical and cultural context appears to be crucial. We can see this via many relatable examples.
Values are commonly thought of as structuring principles or drivers of attitudes and behaviours. In the value–attitude–behavior model of value–motivated conduct, values are the source of motivation. Value-relevant attitudes mediate the link between values and conduct. Values that are systematically linked to the attractiveness of options and behavioural decisions. When attractiveness was controlled for, however, values had no effect on behavioural choices.
Behavior, like attitudes, is consistently linked to values. Using both self-report and peer-reported measures of behaviour, individual differences in values have been demonstrated to map to motivationally congruent behaviours across the value spectrum.
A meta-analysis of values and personality research found a continuous link between values and behavioural tendencies in personality measurements. It’s vital to remember that the impacts of values on behaviour are weak, and that there are many other, often more proximal, drivers of behaviour variance.
Previously, social psychologists assumed that the link between values and their enactment was via indirect paths. Claimed that the need for consistency motivates value-congruent action; it was also proposed that values influence beliefs and personal norms, and, via them, behaviour.
However, a recent review of neuroscientific literature on the value–behavior relationship reviewed evidence supporting a more direct link: revealed that individual value choices may influence the perceived reward value of distinct behavioural possibilities.
Personal values are guiding concepts that apply to everyone. However, different cultural and historical contexts have different ways of enacting values. We provide a unique theory that accounts for the social construction of the value-expressive function of behaviour, based on previous literature on value instantiation. We show the adaptability of the value–behavior relationship under the influence of construal of specific behaviours in three experimental trials.
The new conceptualization opens up new avenues for research into the social underpinnings of value–behavior effects, as well as the function of public discourse in influencing value-expressive conduct.
According to Allport, “Value is a belief upon which a man acts by preferences.” So in a nut-shell we can say that values can be universal as well as personal and are actually helpful to behave in a particular manner in life.
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