ESRA 2017 Programme

Tuesday 18th July      Wednesday 19th July      Thursday 20th July      Friday 21th July     

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Tuesday 18th July, 16:00 - 17:30 Room: F2 109

Basic human values

Chair Professor Eldad Davidov (University of Cologne and University of Zurich )
Coordinator 1Professor Jan Cieciuch (University of Zurich URPP 'Social Networks' and Cardinal Stefana Wyszynskiego University in Warsaw)
Coordinator 2Professor Peter Schmidt (University of Giessen)

Session Details

Values have held an important position in the social sciences since their inception. Max Weber treated values as a central component in his analysis of capitalist society, linking the development of capitalism to the values of the Protestant Ethic. Values played an important role not only in sociology, but in social psychology, anthropology, political science and related disciplines as well. They have been used to explain the motivational bases of attitudes and behavior and to characterize differences between both individuals and societies.

In 1992, Schwartz introduced a theory of ten basic human values, building on common elements in earlier approaches. 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. Recently, this theory has been extended to include 19 values (Schwartz et al., 2012) and a new scale, the PVQ-RR, has been developed to measure them.

In this session continuing work on basic human values as postulated by Schwartz will be presented. Presentations which discuss (1) The measurement of human values; (2) Values as predictors of attitudes, opinions or behaviour; (3) Values as consequence of various variables such as sociodemographic characteristics; (4) Value change and development; and related topics are welcome. Both substantive and methodological papers using cross-sectional, cross-cultural or longitudinal datasets are welcome.

Paper Details

1. Personality and human values in childhood, adolescence and adulthood
Professor Jan Cieciuch (University of Zurich)
Dr Wlodzimierz Strus (Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw)
Professor Eldad Davidov (University of Cologne and University of Zurich)

Values are defined as beliefs about abstract goals as guiding principles in life of people or groups (Schwartz et al., 2012). According to the circular model of values proposed by Schwartz (1992, Schwartz et al., 2012) values differ in their motivational content. Previous research suggests that value priorities are systematically related with personality traits in adulthood (Parks-Leduc, Feldman, Bardi, 2015). However, there are no studies that investigated this relation during childhood and adolescence. This project is aimed at fulfilling this gap by systematically investigating the relations between personality and values also in these periods of life.

We used the Circumplex of Personality Metatraits (Strus, Cieciuch, Rowiński, 2014) that was developed within the Big Five personality traits literature. This model relies on two metatraits: Stability and Plasticity that form a circumplex space where other personality metatraits and other constructs (including values) may be located. We aimed to investigate where specific values are located on this circumplex to find how values and personality are related in different ages.
For the empirical part we collected data in Poland among 10-years old children (n = ca. 300), 13-years old children (n = ca. 500), 16-years old adolescents (n = ca. 500) and adults (n = ca. 500). It turned out that the four higher order values are located in almost the same personality circumplex space regardless of the period of life that was investigated. However, some single values changed their location. This alteration implies that the motivational content of some values (described in terms of personality dispositions) changed when moving from childhood to adulthood.

2. Human Values and Attitudes towards Minorities: What is the Direction of Causality?
Mr Marcus Eisentraut (GESIS - Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences)
Professor Eldad Davidov (University of Cologne and University of Zurich)
Professor Peter Schmidt (University of Giessen)

In light of the latest massive flows of refugees and the growth of right-wing populism throughout Europe, many studies have focused on finding reasons for the seemingly widespread negative attitudes towards different minorities such as immigrants or Muslims. Whereas a large body of literature concentrated on the effects of structural variables, economic interests, perceived threats or symbolic motives to explain such attitudes, far less research has been conducted on the relation between human values and attitudes toward different minorities. The few studies that investigated this relation commonly assumed that values influence specific attitudes and not vice-versa (as critical views point out).

With data from the GESIS Access Panel, we want to obtain statistical evidence for the direction of the causal effects between human values and attitudes towards different minorities by using autoregressive cross-lagged models (so called Granger models). Furthermore we will discuss the underlying social mechanism for the alternative causal directions. The GESIS Access Panel collects data on representative samples of the adult population in Germany. It includes both measures of human values and of attitudes toward Muslims, asylum seekers, Sinti and Roma, and immigrants.

3. Use of Schwartz’s Theory in Exploring the Directions of Convergence and Divergence of Human Values in Contemporary Society
Professor Kazufimi Manabe (Aoyama Gakuin University)

A great deal of research has been conducted on the subject of human values, and a vast amount of literature on this subject exists.

My perspective is sociological, and the specific topic I am concerned with is the contrasting directions of convergence and divergence of human values in contemporary societies.

How can I approach such research topic empirically? I attempt to utilize Shalom Schwartz’s theory of basic human values (Schwartz, 1992; Schwartz et al., 2012).

Schwartz's ten items are included in the WVS 6th wave. So, I try to approach my research topic by using the data from the WVS 2010-2012.

I start the data analysis with a “descriptive analysis”. To put it concretely, I create and examine the “radar-charts” based on the “frequency distribution tables” for these ten items on human values. Examinations of these results show that the similarities and differences are observed among the countries.

At the next stage of data analysis, I focus on a “structural analysis” of these ten items. As the statistical method for such data analysis, I use the Smallest Space Analysis developed by Louis Guttman. The results show that in some countries the same “Circumplex” structures have been confirmed, but not in other countries.

Lastly, based on the above results, I discuss the utility of Schwartz theory in exploring the contrasting directions of convergence ad divergence of human values in contemporary societies.

4. Relations Between Adjacent Higher-Order Basic Values Across The World
Dr Maksim Rudnev (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
Professor Vladiimir Magun (Institute of Sociology Russian Academy of Sciences)
Professor Shalom Schwartz (Hebrew University in Jerusalem)

The circular overall structure of basic human values is the core element of Schwartz value theory. The structure demonstrated high robustness across cultures, however the specific correlations between values and their cross-country differences received little attention. The current paper investigates the specific correlations between higher-order values that are adjacent in the theoretical value structure. The correlations estimated with meta-analytical random effects models based on ten surveys, different value measures and data from one hundred countries showed the conflict relations between openness to change and self-transcendence as well as between conservation and self-enhancement and predominantly congruent relations between openness to change and self-enhancement as well as between conservation and self-transcendence values. The effects of country economic development was estimated with mixed effects models. The correlations between values are less pronounced in countries with higher level of economic development. The results imply that 1) two pairs of adjacent higher order values are negatively related, 2) structural relations between higher-order values are variable across countries, 3) this variation is meaningful and linked to economic development; 4) the Social – Personal focus values opposition is a predominant and Growth – Protection opposition is less pronounced in less developed countries.