Basic human values : implicit structure, dynamic properties and attitudinal consequences
The concept of values has long been suggested as an important concept across social sciences (e.g. Inglehart, 1977; Kluckhohn, 1951; Williams, 1968). Despite the lack of agreement on the content of values and also diversity of perspectives on the roles of values (Kluckhohn, 1951; Van Deth and Scarbrough, 1995) there is a general agreement about the vital role of values in human beings' lives (Dewey, 1939; Hechter, 1992; Joas, 1996; Kluckhohn, 1951; Mandler, 1993; Rokeach, 1973; Schwartz, 1992). To help to get a better idea about content and role of values, this thesis discusses important contemporary theories of values and then presents evidence testing one of these theories, which suggests a dynamic circumplex structure of values based on motivational conflicts and compatibilities among them (Schwartz, 1992). Six experiments provided strong support for this model of values. Experiments 1 to 3 provided support for the circumplex structure by revealing the first evidence of inter-value relations in memory. That is, they revealed that people judge the conceptual relations between pairs of motivationally congruent values and motivationally opposing values quicker than pairs of motivationally unrelated values. Moreover, the results explained how motivational conflicts and compatibilities affected response times over and above semantic relations. Experiment 4 supported the circumplex structure of values by providing evidence that prioritizing specific values not only increases the importance of the prioritized values and similar values, but also decreases the importance of opposed values. Experiment 5 revealed that priming a specific value increases likelihood of the value-relevant behaviours, while decreasing value-opposed behaviours. Finally, Experiment 6 found support for influence of value conflicts on feelings of ambivalence. Overall, the results offered further support for the circumplex structure of values and extended prior research using new methods (e.g. measuring value associations in memory), designs (e.g. effects of value change on behaviours relevant to different values), and measures (e.g. feelings of ambivalence).