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ESRA 2023 Program


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Basic Human Values 1

Session Organisers Professor Eldad Davidov (University of Cologne and URPP Social Networks, University of Zurich)
Professor Jan Cieciuch (Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw and University of Zurich)
Professor Peter Schmidt (University of Giessen and University of Mainz)
TimeWednesday 19 July, 11:00 - 12:30
Room U6-01a

The session on basic human values in which researchers can present their studies on and advance the understanding of human values from different points of view and using survey data and various methods has been present at ESRA conferences for many years now. These presentations often developed into published studies in substantive and methodological journals and books. We wish to continue this tradition at the upcoming ESRA conference.
Indeed, values have held an important position in the social sciences since their inception. They have been used to explain the motivational bases of attitudes and behavior and to characterize differences between both individuals and societies. One of the most often used value model is the one proposed by Schwartz (1992; Schwartz et al., 2012). The designers of the European Social Survey (ESS) chose this theory as the basis for developing a human values scale to include in the core of the survey.
In this session we welcome presentations on continuing work on basic human values as postulated by Schwartz, using the ESS and other data sources. Possible presentation topics may include (but are not limited to):
(1) the measurement of human values in various languages and cultures;
(2) values as predictors of attitudes, opinions and behavior;
(3) values as consequences of various variables such as sociodemographic characteristics;
(4) value change and development among children, adolescents and adults, using various methods of data analysis;
(5) relations between different types of human values measurements (such as the PVQ-57, the PVQ-40 and the picture-based measures);
(6) multilevel and multigroup structural equation models and mixture models, using human values as individual and contextual predictors.
Both substantive and methodological papers using cross-sectional, cross-cultural or longitudinal datasets of basic human values are welcome.

Keywords: Basic human values; Portrait Value Questionnaire (PVQ); Value measurements; Value change


Measuring Schwartz’s model of cultural value orientations in Europe with the European Social Survey

Dr Hermann Duelmer (Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology, University of Cologne, Cologne) - Presenting Author
Professor Shalom H. Schwartz (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem)
Professor Jan Cieciuch (Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University, Warsaw)
Professor Eldad Davidov (University of Cologne and URPP Social Networks, University of Zurich)
Professor Peter Schmidt (Institute for Political Science and Centre for International Development and Environment (ZEU), Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Giessen)

The European Social Survey (ESS) has included since its inception the 21-item short version of the Portrait Value Questionnaire (PVQ-21) that can be used to measure both personal/individual and cultural/country level values from Schwartz’ theory. While there exists a large body of literature employing these ESS questions to measure individual values, applications using ESS data to measure cultural values are much more rare. Studies of cultural values have typically computed additive indexes to measure cultural values. However, additive indexes do not take account of the hierarchical structure of the data and cannot eliminate random measurement errors completely. Moreover, they usually weight all items equally, although their weight may differ empirically.
The aim of this contribution is to measure Schwartz’ (2004) model of cultural values with the PVQ-21 of the ESS while taking account of the hierarchical structure of the data and measurement errors. For this purpose, we use two methods: confirmatory multidimensional scaling (MDS) and, for the first time when studying Schwartz’s cultural values, multilevel confirmatory factor analysis (ML CFA). An advantage of the latter is that it permits testing the full model of personal and cultural values simultaneously by decomposing the total variances of the 21 items into a within part (personal/individual values) and a between part (cultural values) while controlling for random measurement errors. ML CFA also weights the impact of the factors on their indicators empirically. MDS discriminated all seven cultural values, but high intercorrelations required unifying two pairs of adjacent cultural values in ML CFA. Comparing correlations with theoretically relevant macro indicators of the factor scores and the simple means of the cultural values suggested somewhat higher external validity for the factor scores. Taken together, the findings suggest that ESS data are suitable for measuring and comparing Schwartz’ cultural values in European countries in future studies using the derived factor scores as macro indicators.

Marketized values, institutional anomie and hostile attitudes toward immigrants in Europe – a multi-level analysis

Mrs Amelie Nickel (University Bielefeld) - Presenting Author

This study investigates whether a strong cultural orientation toward so-called marketized values serves as a predictor of hostile attitudes toward immigrants. Using the human values scale of the European Social Survey (ESS), marketized values are defined as a strong commitment to power and achievement (self-enhancement) and a lack of the solidarity values benevolence and universalism (self-transcendence). The underlying assumption is that individuals who embrace marketized values are more prone to reject immigrants because they are stigmatized as ‘unprofitable’ by an economic logic.

Drawing on insights from the Institutional Anomie Theory (IAT), the marketization of cultural values is embedded in a particular institutional setting found in all western societies, namely the dominance of the economy over non-economic institutions, like family, politics, and education. Building on prior efforts that extended the scope of IAT, I argue that a cultural emphasis on material success coupled with a weak control by enfeebled non-economic institutions leads to an anomic state in which economic-based prejudices are more likely to occur and persist.

Consistent with theoretical expectations, multilevel models based on data from the ESS (wave 2018) reveal that hostility towards immigrants is more pronounced among individuals holding marketized values. This association is stronger in countries where the economic sector is left unregulated and non-economic institutions are enfeebled. Moreover, multi-level mediation models show that the country aggregate of marketized values mediate the effect of individual marketized values on anti-immigrant attitudes.

Overall, this study contributes to a better understanding of the relation between human values and attitudes and how both are shaped by the social structure in a society. It provides new insights for the continuing work on human values by shedding light on a distinct aspect of cultural values reflecting a far-reaching marketization in western nations.

Social milieus and societal conflicts in Europe: socioeconomic positions and basic human values draw latent lines of conflict

Ms Anne Speer (University of Bremen) - Presenting Author
Mr Tim Schröder (University of Bremen)

Polarization of attitudes towards controversial subjects (such as immigration and redistribution) has been diagnosed by international scholars who study social conflicts. The polarization thesis is often associated with the assumption of two opposing groups – usually vaguely defined by their socioeconomic resources, or their culture, or both - like ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ of modernization, or ‘cosmopolitans’ and ‘communitarians’. We argue that this is an oversimplification of the heterogeneity within and between social groups.

On these grounds, we propose the concept of social milieus for analyzing social conflicts. Social milieus are large latent groups composed of socioeconomic resources and cultural characteristics. These two dimensions draw lines of potential conflicts between social milieus. We develop a typology of social milieus for four countries from different European regions by means of Latent Class Analysis (LCA) using the European Social Survey Round 9 (2018). We operationalize the socioeconomic dimension using income and education, and the cultural dimension using Basic Human Values. We then assess milieu differences in attitudes regarding major societal issues: redistribution, immigration, and gender roles. The results reveal issue-specific conflict potential along the socioeconomic and value dimensions.

Basic Human Values play a pivotal role in our substantive contribution to the analysis of social conflicts, but they also bring major methodological challenges. We aim to empirically reflect the theoretical assumption that the socioeconomic and value dimensions are of equal importance. In our model, however, the numbers of indicators per dimension are unbalanced. Thus, we exploratory 1) used variable weights to reduce the impact of the value indicators on the latent class solutions and 2) reduced the number of value indicators through factor analysis or index scores. We share the respective results and insights with which we aim to stimulate discussion about the need and implementation of balancing LCA indicators.

Who do universalism values apply to? Radius of moral concern in Russia

Mrs Ekaterina Nastina (Higher School of Economics, Moscow) - Presenting Author
Dr Anna Almakaeva (Higher School of Economics, Moscow)

Schwartz (2007) argues that countries vary in the radius of “universalistic” moral concern. In some, tolerance and equal treatment are generally understood in relation to everyone, in line with his theory of basic human values, while in others people conceive of them as referring to their in-group only. The aim of the current project is to deepen the understanding of how Universalism items from PVQ-21 are understood by people and whether there is a substantial within-country variation in the radius of moral concern. For this purpose, the case of Russia, which scores among the countries with the least inclusive moral radius in Europe is taken. Data from a Russian sample collected online (N = 4055) allows to see who people had in mind while assessing themselves on the two Universalism items, and test whether it moderates the relationship between values and behavior, namely, different forms of civic engagement.