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A personal and/or cultural value is an absolute or relative ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based. Those values which are not physiologically determined and normally considered objective, such as a desire to avoid physical pain, seek pleasure, etc., are considered subjective, vary across individuals and cultures and are in many ways aligned with belief and belief systems. Types of values include ethical/moral values, doctrinal/ideological (religious, political) values, social values, and aesthetic values. It is debated whether some values which aren't clearly physiologically determined are intrinsic such as altruism and whether some such as acquisitiveness should be valued as vices or virtues.

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Human values

Human values are a set of emotional rules people follow to help make the right decisions in life. When values are used in a professional setting, they are called ethics (Changing Minds, n.d.). Values are used in every day decision making at work and at home. Good values instill a sense of integrity, honesty, and diligence in people. Without good values, people would become corrupt, dishonest, and undependable as people and employees. Companies want to hire employees with a sense of moral value so that they can help improve the company as a whole. Promoting values in every-day life and in the workplace can help promote career success (Heathfield, Susan, n.d.).

Values are an integral part of every culture. Along with beliefs and worldview assumptions, they generate behavior. Being part of a culture that shares a common core set of values creates expectations and predictability without which a culture would disintegrate and its members would lose their personal identity and sense of worth. Values tell people what is good, beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, desirable, appropriate...etc. They answer the question of why people do what they do. Values help people solve common human problems for survival. Over time, they become the roots of traditions that groups of people find important in their day to day lives. Values can be positive or negative; some are destructive. To understand people of other cultures, we must come to understand the values, beliefs and assumptions that motivate their behavior of there values over.

Cultural values

The Inglehart-Welzel Cultural Map of the World, created by sociopolitical scientists Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel based on the World Values Survey.

Groups, societies, or cultures have values that are largely shared by their members. The values identify those objects, conditions or characteristics that members of the society consider important; that is, valuable. In the United States, for example, values might include material comfort, wealth, competition, individualism or religiosity . The values of a society can often be identified by noting which people receive honor or respect. In the US, for example, professional athletes at the top levels in some sports are honored (in the form of monetary payment) more than college professors. Surveys show that voters in the United States would be reluctant to elect an atheist as a president, suggesting that belief in God is a value. There is a difference between values clarification and cognitive moral education. Values clarification is, "helping people clarify what their lives are for and what is worth working for. Students are encouraged to define their own values and understand others' values."[1] Cognitive moral education is based on the belief that students should learn to value things like democracy and justice as their moral reasoning develops."[1]

Values are related to the norms of a culture, but they are more general and abstract than norms. Norms are rules for behavior in specific situations, while values identify what should be judged as good or evil. Flying the national flag on a holiday is a norm, but it reflects the value of patriotism. Wearing dark clothing and appearing solemn are normative behaviors at a funeral. They reflect the values of respect and support of friends and family. Different cultures reflect different values. "Over the last three decades, traditional-age college students have shown an increased interest in personal well-being and a decreased interest in the welfare of others."[1] Values seemed to have changed, affecting the beliefs, and attitudes of college students.

Members take part in a culture even if each member's personal values do not entirely agree with some of the normative values sanctioned in the culture. This reflects an individual's ability to synthesize and extract aspects valuable to them from the multiple subcultures they belong to.

If a group member expresses a value that is in serious conflict with the group's norms, the group's authority may carry out various ways of encouraging conformity or stigmatizing the non-conforming behavior of its members. For example, imprisonment can result from conflict with social norms that have been established as law of chicken.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Santrock, J.W. (2007). A Topical Approach to Life-Span Development. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill

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Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

See also


Simple English

Not to be confused with principal.

A value (or principle) usually means an abstract rule, one that can be seen to apply in many experiences, or can be applied by choice in a lot of situations. It can also mean a moral choice one makes often and consistently, for example, many Buddhists avoid eating meat as a matter of principle.

Many groups of people agree on lists of principles. They may also try to agree on the order in which they are to apply, that is, which principles should be violated before which other ones. They might also try to list best practices which reflect the principles in the right order, and provide more practical (less abstract) instruction.



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