What Are Values?
Values1 describe what is important to us in our lives or volunteering work (e.g., social relations, respect from others, variation in tasks). Each of us holds numerous values and that we attach a different importance to. A particular value may be very important to one person, but unimportant to another.
Experts in the field of values describe them in the following terms:
- Values are beliefs and because of that inextricably tied to emotions.
- Values are an abstract motivational feeling. They refer to the desirable goals which people strive to attain. The abstract nature of values distinguishes them from concepts like norms and attitudes, which usually refer to specific actions, objects, or situations.
- Values guide the selection or evaluation of actions, policies, people, and events. That is, values serve as standards or criteria.
- Values are ordered by importance relative to one another. People make choices due to how their values are ordered. The most important values usually get priority when making decisions.
The most prominent values theory defines values as desirable, trans-situational goals, varying in importance, that serve as guiding principles in people’s lives. This also means that values play a big role in how we communicate and work together with others. People with different values are likely to take different approaches to solving problems.
The general values theory identifies 10 main values that people, across all cultures, have in varying degrees. However, the value questionnaire you completed in the Scouts volunteer survey only measured six of these values. These values were selected because 1) they are applicable to volunteering at Scouts and 2) volunteers at Scouts vary in the importance they attach to these values. These six values can be described as follows:
- Altruism – Understanding, appreciation, tolerance, and protection for the welfare of all people and for nature.
- Relationships with others – Preserving and enhancing the welfare of those with whom one is in frequent personal contact.
- Prestige – Social status and prestige, control or dominance over people and resources.
- Authority – Restraint of actions, inclinations, and impulses likely to upset or harm others and violate social expectations or norms.
- Variety – Excitement, novelty, and challenge in life.
- Autonomy – Independent thought and action; choosing, creating, exploring.
Interpreting Your Profile
The Values report function on this website displays your result on these personality dimensions. To compute your results, your self-ratings on the Values questionnaire are compared to the self-ratings of a large group of other volunteers in Scouts. When you score low this means that other Scouters rate themselves higher. When you score high this means that other people in Scouts rate themselves lower. Please note that higher scores are not necessarily better and lower scores are not necessarily worse!
The report consists of texts that explain how your scores can be interpreted and graphs that show how you rated yourself compared to other people. When interpreting your scores keep in mind that self-reported values inventories are not always accurate. It is possible that you do not describe your behaviour the same way as others describe theirs, because -for example- you do not know yourself very well or you are extremely self-aware. To obtain a more accurate image of your values we suggest to combine this (self-)report with reports of others who know you well, such as your colleagues, parents, partner or children.