Values based living- what are values and their nature

What are values, do we understand the true nature of values?

When you are practising a values-based living, you’re very aware of the traits, beliefs, and behavioural norms that are actually essential to you—in other words, your values. Before you continue reading, try to recall a few values that you believe are most important. After that, see if you can make two lists:
• values you believe are essential for everyone;
• values you believe are particularly significant for you in your personal life.

You likely thought of some general terms in the first list, such as “fairness,” “honesty,” “goodness,” “wellbeing,” “happiness,” and “love” — and there might be many more.
You might well have repeated some words in the second list. However, you may have expressed something more specific to you. This could include doing well at work, having a positive family bond, or various other things. Let us peek into the exactness of this word, “values”.

Concept of values

Many domains in the fields of psychology revolve around the concept of values. A significant corpus of research on values has been published in the last two decades, examining the content, construction, and effects of values across cultures. We frequently mistake values with other personal qualities such as attitudes, personalities, and clear objectives in the study and everyday life. On the other hand, values are a different thing that differ from other personal characteristics in significant ways.

“Values are cognitive representations of basic motivations. They are abstract, desirable goals, relatively stable over time and across situations. Values vary in their importance; the higher the importance a person attributes to a value, the more likely he is to act in ways that promote the attainment of that value” (Kluckhohn, Rokeach, Schwartz)

Values are conceptions, explicit or implicit, distinctive of an individual or characteristic of a group, of the desirable, which influence the selection from available modes, means and ends of action. (Begley)

Values are the compasses that guide all we do when we live by them. They give meaning to our decisions and actions by connecting us to something bigger than ourselves. In a nutshell, they offer our lives shape and guidance, which is why it’s critical to know what your values are.

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When you have this, you can devote to values-based living, which is the discipline of referring to your values that shape your behavior on a regular and deliberate basis. While it’s an inspiring way of life, that it is not easy! It takes a lot of effort and sheer determination to make it happen. It is, nonetheless, worthwhile.

Nature of values

Values are intrinsically desirable.

The fact that values are intrinsically positive differentiates them from other notions. They represent preferred objectives and define what people value as significant and worthwhile. Even the values at the lowest of one’s scale are desirable.

People tend to be quite content with their values, which demonstrates the importance of values in yet another way. An individual may have a high need for security that he might dislike about himself, and he may be aware of this requirement and desire to be less fearful and more prepared to accept mistakes. Therefore, a person may see himself as more risk-averse than he desires and wish to be more risk-taking. On the other hand, people are highly content with their stated values. Values are a powerful motivation for action because of their intrinsic desire. Because all values are essential contributors, every value can act as a direction for encouraging action. According to the Schwartz value project, consider power values, which obtain the lowest relevance scores in most cultures.

Values act as beacons for decision-making

Values-based living serves as guidelines or criteria for making decisions and acting in a socially acceptable manner. This differentiates values from personal characteristics such as personality or interests. People can justify their actions or choices by referring to their traits, interests or values

  • Traits-“I accepted her behaviour because I’m an accommodating person”
  • Interests -“I enjoy listening to people”
  • Values- “I believe it’s essential to respect others’ perspectives.”

Still, they only go to their values list when they want to justify their choices or actions as genuine or meaningful.

The Importance of Value Is Consistent Across Time and Situations

Another distinguishing property of values is that they are independent of the conditions in which they are expressed. A person’s priority on specific values is relatively consistent across contexts ). As a result, a person who emphasizes respect for others in the workplace is likely to put a high value on it in other social situations. Values based living differ from rules, mindsets, and specific aims in that they frequently pertain to particular behaviors, things, or conditions.
These properties of values have significant implications for how they influence behavior. Thus, compassion values, which express concern and care for others, predicted various specific behaviors such as the intention to give food, the decision to volunteer to help organizations, and daily behaviors such as keeping promises and lending things to fellow citizens.
Values based living influence broad decisions such as professional choices too. Thus, values can predict a wide range of behaviors, from extremely narrow behaviors (e.g., donating money in a social dilemma game) to broad behaviors with long-term consequences (e.g., choosing a career).

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Values might be expressed explicitly or implicitly.

When you state that justice or fairness is one of your values, you expressly state this value. However, whether or not you expressly state to yourself or anybody else what principles are affecting you, you will be impacted all the time in your behavior and choices by what you consider to be preferred or significant.
Values might be unique to a person: perhaps a particular story gave you a desire for your own life that others do not share. However, a group’s ideals might be different. For example, a religious community may have values that are distinct from those of other organizations.

A value must be felt to be relevant to the mindset or action, and it must look practical and rational. Because fundamental values are vague, their significance is usually ignored. People may regard justice as relevant to racial discrimination but not hate crimes. When an action has repercussions for supporting or inhibiting the achievement of a value’s aims, it is said to be relevant to that value. Value initiation frequently occurs when we are not aware of it. When possible options have high costs or conflicting effects for essential values, people are more inclined to become aware of using their values to analyze them.

Now, compare the features of your listed personal values with the nature of values, and you ill understand whether those were your traits or values. Hopefully, this article would have get the concept of “values” clear so that you can effectively make decisions regarding your life based on values.

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19 values as per the Refined Theory

Value Conceptual definitions in terms of motivational goals
Self-direction—thought -Freedom to cultivate one’s ideas and abilities
Self-direction—action -Freedom to determine one’s actions
Stimulation -Excitement, novelty, and change
Hedonism -Pleasure and sensuous gratification
Achievement -Success according to social standards
Power—dominance -Power through exercising control over people
Power—resources -Power through management of material and social resources
Face -Maintaining one’s public image and avoiding humiliation
Security—personal -Safety in one’s immediate environment
Securitysocietal -Safety and stability in the wider society
Tradition -Maintaining and preserving cultural, family or religious traditions
Conformity—rules -Compliance with rules, laws, and formal obligations
Conformity— interpersonal -Avoidance of upsetting or harming other people
Humility -Recognizing one’s insignificance in the larger scheme of things
Universalism—nature -Preservation of the natural environment
Universalism—concern -Commitment to equality, justice and protection for all people
Universalism—tolerance -Acceptance and understanding of those who are different from oneself
Benevolencecaring -Devotion to the welfare of in-group members
Benevolencedependability -Being a reliable and trustworthy member of the in-group
From Schwartz et al. (2012)

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