English title: Basic values: How they motivate and inhibit prosocial behavior

Author(s): Shalom H. Schwartz -

Language: English

Type: Book chapter

Year: 2009


This chapter details some of my efforts during the past 30 years to identify the priority system that might link abstract values to specific feelings of obligation in particular situations that affect helping behavior. It outlines my general theory of basic values and the implications of this theory for the full range of prosocial behaviors. It first discusses the nature and content of the basic values that both motivate and inhibit prosocial behavior. It then explicates the structure of congruent and conflicting relations among these values, analyzing how tradeoffs between competing values in this structure affect prosocial behavior. It next examines the dynamic roots of this near-universal structure in order to clarify why particular values affect prosocial behavior as they do. An exploration of the mechanisms that link values to prosocial behavior follows. The chapter concludes with a set of studies that use values to predict a variety of prosocial behaviors and attitudes.

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Anthology: Herzliya symposium on personality and social psychology, Vol.1.

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