Introduction: Personal values have prevailed as a dominant theory within extant literature for almost half a decade. Despite the plethora of values research, assumptions of established values theories have neglected to be investigated. The aim of this research is to empirically examine two prominent values schemes – Kahle’s (1983) List of Values (LOV) and Schwartz’s (1992) Values Survey (SVS) – in light of three propositions which question fundamental assumptions regarding values theory and values measures.
Background Literature: While there is no universally accepted definition of values, there is considerable consensus that values are enduring fundamental beliefs that inform one’s attitudes and behaviour in every facet of daily life. Setting the foundation of the present research, background literature outlining values and related measurement techniques, instruments, and concerns are discussed, including a detailed review of the LOV and SVS.
Research Propositions: This research postulates three key propositions; specifically, that (1) people are consistent in expressing their values, (2) values schemes are general, and (3) if the former propositions hold true, then a unified framework can be advanced.
Research Design and Method: A two-wave within subjects research design was employed. Best-worst scaling (BWS) was applied to both the LOV and SVS to facilitate a comparative evaluation of the two values schemes.
Analysis and Results: This research included a sample of 200. Data was analysed using arithmetic and likelihood approaches, and factor analysis for both values instruments.
Discussion and Conclusion: Findings of this research provide convincing evidence that values are consistent over time and that the LOV and SVS schemes are general. Furthermore, this study gives support to the notion of developing a unified values scheme, moving away from traditional descriptive values schemes, which measure the importance of values, and instead moving towards a framework that measures variation between people.