University of Cambridge > > Social Psychology Seminar Series (SPSS) > Change in Personal Values: How, When, What, and Effects on Well-Being

Change in Personal Values: How, When, What, and Effects on Well-Being

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Julain Oldmeadow.

Values are assumed to be stable during adulthood. Yet, little research exists on value stability and change. The presented research uses the Schwartz Value Theory (1992) to study four questions regarding value change. First, what is the structure of value change? Four longitudinal studies using samples from different countries, different populations, different languages, different time gaps, and different value measures show that the structure of value change is organized by the same conflicts and compatibilities of values. That is, conflicting values change in opposite directions and compatible values change in the same direction. Second, when do values change? I’ll show that values tend to change more the more life changing events have occurred, probably as part of adjusting to new life situations. In addition, I’ll show a slight tendency for greater value change to occur in younger adults compared with older adults. Third, which values tend to change and what are the effects of such changes on well being? As Schwartz & Bardi (1997) proposed, I’ll show that values that are more adaptive in the new life situation become more important, whereas values that are less adaptive in the new life situation become less important. Moreover, increase in the importance of adaptive values is accompanied by an increase in well-being, but only on the long run. Together, the research demonstrates that although values are largely stable, the little change that occurs in them is systematic and meaningful.

This talk is part of the Social Psychology Seminar Series (SPSS) series.

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