Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Sunday 3 August 2014

Human values

This is what I learned from Stanley Asah in our workshops on conservation psychology. Human values are transsituational goals of varied importance, that serve as guiding principles in people’s personal life and in the life of their society.Values are goals or deep rooted beliefs. They pertain to a desirable end state or mode of conduct. Values transcend specific situations. Depending on the person some values are more important than other values. People have individual systems or patterns of value priorities.

Values are acquired through socialization with dominant group values and personal experiences. Values are relatively very stable, much more than attitudes, cultural influences, worldviews,  perceptions or influences from the social environment. Individual value priority systems determine one’s identity and behavior. Values interact sometimes in conflicting ways.

Ultimately values drive people’s behavior, serve their interests, are standards for judging others, and enable people to cope with reality through transforming existential necessities into expressible specific values to facilitate communicative action. Values are responses to our needs as biological organisms, for coordinated social interaction, for the smooth functioning and survial of social entities. 

Universal human values are salient motivations towards the following different end goals:
1.       Power – social status and prestige, control or dominance over people or resources (the end goals is authority and or wealth)
2.       Achievement – personal success through demonstrating competence according to social standards (the end goal is to be successful, capable)
3.       Hedonism – pleasure and sensuous gratification for oneself (the end goal is to have pleasure, enjoying life)
4.       Stimulation – Excitement, novelty and challenge in life (the end goals is to have a daring, varied life)
5.       Self-direction – independent through choosing action, creating, exploring (the end goal is creativity, freedom, curiosity)
6.       Universalism – understand, appreciate, tolerate and protect the welfare of all people and nature (the end goals is equality, justice, protecting the environment)
7.       Benevolence – preserve and enhance the welfare of people with whom one is frequent personal contact (the end goal is to be helpful, honest, forgiving)
8.       Tradition – respect, commit to and accept the custums and ideas of traditional culture and/or religion (the end goals is to be humble, devout)
9.       Conformity – restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others, violate social expectations or norms (the end goals is politeness and obedience)
10.    Security – safety, harmony, and stability of society of relationships and of self (the end goal is compliance with social order)
11.    Meaning – find meaning in life, spiritual life, inner harmony (the end goal is spiritualiy).

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