Toward refining the theory of basic human values
Contents foreword Research on values Chapter 1: Introduction and explanation of the term 'values' Chapter 2: The theory of human values according to Shalom H. Schwartz and its relevance for the study of the development of values in childhood and adolescence Chapter 3: Values and Behaviors The research of value development Chapter 4: How to research values in childhood? A question of diagnostics Chapter 5: How do values evolve? Research designs and results from selected subject areas Chapter 6: Values in the family - conveying values through parenting goals and values Chapter 7: Values development and change of values in children - wishes for research Educational approaches to value formation Chapter 8: Storytelling - Goals and content of a school value building project Chapter 9: Experiencing values - an example of conveying values through experiential project work in the fields of theater and outdoor
Human values, or more precisely values, values and changes of values, have get more and more attention of psychological and sociological research in the past 30 years. Based on entries in the most important literature database of psychology (PSYCINFO), there were on average of 27 scientific publications from 1890 to 1950, which bore the word "value" in the title. Between 1951 and 1980 there were 160 and between 1981 and 2010 the number was 456. Although the emergence of the word "value" in the title of a social science publication does not automatically stand for an engagement with values, value preferences and change of values. And even so it has to be taken into account that the total number of psychological publications has risen sharply since 1890, yet the numbers illustrate an increasing interest of social and behavioral sciences in human values. Searching on Google supports this impression. If you enter "children's values", a Google search results in over 80,000 hits and even the German-language input "Werthaltungen von Kindern" yields more than 600 hits. The current chapter will first provide a cursory overview of the state of social and behavioral science in value research and then turn to the state of this research in relation to children. Above all, the chapter will ask questions and formulate research ideas: What are the fundamental topics of value research related to children and their development? At what age can one say that children have values? Is it changing what children find 'good' in the course of their development? The chapter should not be misunderstood as a review article. A detailed bibliographic relinquishment of the identified research trends is expressly waived. For the most part, the chapter is primarily intended as a collection of ideas.
The present article is devoted to a comparison of today’s values of Russians with those of people living in the other countries of Europe. Many publications have broadly discussed the question of similarities and differences in the cultural and psychological characteristics of Russians and other Europeans, and these discussions represent part of a broader polemic concerning the paths of Russia’s development. New opportunities to make well-founded comparisons between the populations of Russia and other European countries have emerged because of our country’s participation in the European Social Survey (ESS), a largescale international project in which all of the participants have to work in accordance with strict methodological requirements.1 Russia joined this international project in the third round. Surveys in this round have been carried out in twenty-five European countries; they were launched in September 2006 and completed at the beginning of 2007. In Russia the survey took place in September 2006–January 2007, with 2,437 respondents taking part.
Survey data on comparisons between teachers in Russia and other countries show that the average Russian schoolteacher places a very high value on security and a very low value on the opportunity to enjoy life and have pleasure. Russia's schoolteachers are more often ahead of other Europeans when it comes to the importance of personal success, wealth, and power, as well as obedience and conformity to traditions, and, in contrast, they tend to lag behind when it comes to their adherence to the values of independence, equality, tolerance, helping people around them, and the protection of the environment. The authors see these orientations as cultural barriers to the successful functioning and development of Russian society.
Basic Human Values of the Russian teachers are compared with those of their colleagues from the 27 European countries, using the Schwartz Value Survey data collected in the 1990s. It was found that the average Russian teacher is extremely high in Security and extremely low in Hedonism. In addition the Russian teachers often leave their colleagues behind in the scores on Self-Enhancement (Achievement and Power) and Conformity-Tradition but often hang back in the commitment to Self-Direction and Self-Transcendence (the latter combines the values of Benevolence and Universalism). The coincidence between relative value scores of the Russian teachers and the conclusions drawn from cross-country comparison of the national samples as well as value similarity between Russia and some other countries of similar level of economic and political development are discussed. The paper illustrates the disparity between research results and common ideological stereotypes.