Social Macroevolution and Changes in the Human Value Systems. How has Modernization Affected Human Values?
The transition to expanded production and the exit from the Malthusian trap, two of the most important components of modernization transition, lead to a long-term trend of per capita GDP growth, and hence of the level of income and material well-being of the population. The question whether the factor of wealth affects the structure of individual human values and, if so, what are the directions of this impact, has been a subject of rather intense scholarly discussion. Two of the most developed theories in this respect are those developed by Richard Easterlin and Ronald Inglehart. However, the scope of these theories is still being discussed as well. Using mean country values, Inglehart shows that the growth of per capita GDP leads to an increase in adherence to secular-rational values and values of self-expression at the country level. In this paper, we test whether there is a correlation between the income level of individuals and their commitment to secular-rational values and post-materialist values at the individual level as well.