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Understanding Stability and Change of Personal Values: Contexts and Processes

Dr. Anat Bardi

Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London


Values convey broad goals that are important to people in their life (e.g., achievement, security). Values are largely stable and as a result, research on value change has been neglected until recently. Yet, in this talk, I will show that when our values change, they change in meaningful ways. After introducing values and showing evidence for the structure of intra-individual value change, I will present the first comprehensive model of value change. The model distinguishes between the route to short-term value change and the route to long-term value change. As evidence for short-term value change, I will show that bicultural people change their values automatically to fit the cultural context they are in. I will then present longitudinal studies that provide evidence for long term value change, showing which values tend to change and when, including a study of a general Australian sample with no particular life event, a study on police officers during training, a study on psychology and business students in the course of their degree, a study of migrants from Poland to the UK, and a study on children’s values and behaviour changes in Italy.