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Values: Types, Importance, Concept and Examples

Values Types, Importance, Concept and Examples

Values can be defined as those things that are valued by someone. In other words, values are what is considered important by an individual or an organization. Examples include courage, honesty, freedom, innovation etc.

The Concept of Values

This chapter begins by noting some general conceptual and methodological issues arising from the social‐scientific study of values, and then reviews various approaches to conceptualizing, selecting, and defining the values most conducive to the purpose of the book. This is in contrast to other social‐scientific approaches, which are more oriented towards ‘issue’ models of electoral behaviour.

Read Also: Ethical Issues of Psychological Investigation

Why are Values Important?

Values are the baseline of the ethical compass and regulate people’s daily behavior. Values establish the ultimate goals one has to achieve and how to get them. Values guide every decision-making process. Values help someone define what is proper, correct, important, beautiful, worthwhile, or desirable. A perfect example is someone who values family and would always make decisions that ensure that its interests are met.

Values at the societal level ensure that members interact harmoniously, making it easier to meet the goals that would have been impossible to attain individually. Hence, values help people to have a dream and establish ways of attaining such dreams. Values equip people with a purpose to live. They are major motivating factors. People with well-defined values always live satisfying lives as they know they are doing something meaningful.

Values (What is Important?) vs Ethics (What is Right?)

Values vs Ethics

The major differences between Ethics vs Values are:

Ethics refers to a system of moral principles.Values are associated with the thought process, a person’s sense of what is wrong and what is right. 
Ethics aligns with a professional setup.Values are associated with personal aspects of a person.
Ethics has three major areas of study – Meta-Ethics, Normative Ethics, Applied Ethics.Different types of values are moral values, social values, aesthetic values, religious values, political values.
Ethics will be consistent within a professional setup but would vary between three different organisations or institutions. Values vary from person to person, it need not be consistent.
Ethics are determined by an institution, organisation and varied professions. Ethics that are followed by medical professionals will be different from ethics followed in the public administration domain.Values formed in a person are determined by family values, religion, culture, community etc.
Ethics could act as a constraint. The action that needs to be taken in an organisation could be consistent with the values of a person. However, there could be chances that it cannot be executed as it may not align with the ethical standards of the profession, organisation or institution.Values could act as a catalyst for the necessary motivation in a person.

Types of values

We know that honesty, goodness, humility etc values. They form a group of values called Moral Values. There are other types of values as well – like Genious, Beauty, Power etc. However, moral values are rated highest among all natural values.

Values can be classified as:

  • Spiritiual Values
  • Moral Values
  • Social Values
  • Intellectual Values
  • Economic Values
  • Poliitcal Values etc

Features of Values

  • Value is an emotional attitude in a sense that it motivates a person directly or indirectly to act in the most desirable way preferred by him.
  • Values are at the core of personality and are a powerful force affecting behaviour.
  • Values give direction and firmness to life and bring joy, satisfaction and peace to life.
  • Values regulate and guide human behaviour and action in our day to daily life.
  • Values involve the processes of thinking, knowing and understanding the feelings and action.
  • Values are essential constituents of civilisation. Our values given an indication of our character and determine our moral and ethical choices.
  • Values shape behaviour of both individuals as well as of organizations. The behaviour of individuals affects the behaviour of organization if the individual is a part of organization.
  • Acquisition of values begins at birth.Values are primarily learned at home, but they change according to one’s experiences in due course.
  • Values changes over time within the same society which are influenced by the changing needs and present situations of the society.
  • Relatively stable and enduring values predict one’s behavior, indicating that behavior can be anticipated based on the values upheld.

Read Also: Ethics Strategy (GS Paper – 4) Maximum marks: 250

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