Topic 5: Values

  • Values are principal beliefs of what is important to us. They guide our behaviour and describe the personal qualities we choose to develop and the sort of person we want to be. They govern our interaction with the world around us. Our family, education, community, religion, experiences contribute to developing our set of values. Values influence our judgments and the way we communicate to other people. It is important to develop self-awareness in terms of values, since otherwise we risk to make decisions that tread on hidden values and thus create dissatisfaction, anger and other negative emotions.
  • The research of Schwartz & Boehnke (2004)  has identified ten universal values (1) power, (2) achievement, (3) hedonism, (4) stimulation, (5) self-direction, (6) universalism, (7) benevolence, (8) tradition (which includes religion), (9) conformity, (10) security, which can be integrated into two dimension continua that represent the tensions between values: (a) Conservation of tradition vs. Openness and (b) Self-enhancement vs. Self-transcendence. This is the reason why integration between different cultures or groups may be quite a challenge and may be accompanied by many conflicts.

It is important that both trainers and young people develop an awareness of what their value hierarchies are. It is also important that they understand that values underpin their beliefs and beliefs determine behaviour.

Tools for this can be found in the Skills development section.

The image belongs to the Reach Youth project consortium