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Practical applications of Schwartz’s value theory

On September 30 – October 1 Eugene Tartakovsky (Tel-Aviv University, Israel) have read a series of lectures on practical applications of Schwartz’s value theory.

In his lectures Dr. Tartakovsky discussed the pros and cons of Schwartz’s value theory and the areas of research in which it is applied: motivation studies, research in attitudes, value-defined behavior, cross-cultural studies and studies of value change and transmission. In the second part of the course Tartakovsky has presented three of his own studies based on Schwartz’s theory.  

The first was a study of identification, values, and culture-bound behaviors among Palestinians in Israel. 122 people took part in the study. The participants completed a personal values questionnaire, a measure of Israeli/Palestinian identity, and a measure of culturally-bound behaviors, such as knowledge of Arabic/Hebrew, having Arab/Jewish friends, consumption of food, clothing and media. The results demonstrated that personal values significantly predict identification and culturally-bound behaviors, accounting for about 30% of variance (as compared to 10% of variance explained by sociodemographic factors)

In the second study Tartakovsky used Schwartz’s theory to compare personal values of bank workers and people employed in different kinds of organizations. The data gathered supported the hypothesis that bank workers value conformity, power and hedonism more than others. The values of benevolence and universalism, on the contrary, were less pronounced. The effect was stronger among higher-ranked bank workers. Also, the personal value of benevolence was negatively associated with work motivation among bank workers, while the values of achievement and power correlated positively.

The third study used personal values as a predictor of intentions to immigrate. The study was run with 143 Jewish students preparing to immigrate to Israel from Russia. Tartakovsky defined three groups of motivations for immigration: conservation (fear of discrimination and intergroup conflict, preservation of the family), development (interest in other cultures, search for academic opportunities and new experiences), and materialism (trying to improve the quality of life, looking for better employment). The correlations between personal values and motivational types have confirmed the authors’ hypothesis: materialistic motivations for immigration were positively related to personal values of self-determination and negatively related to values of self-transcendence, conservation motivation was positively related with values of conservation and negatively related to values of openness to change, and development motivations were positively related to values of self-determination and negatively related to values of conservation.