How does the theoretical structure of values inform perceptions of the values of others?

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Abstract

Across two studies, we propose that people's perceptions of the values of unknown others are organized by the same compatibilities and conflicts that organize the theoretical structure of personal values. In both studies, we show that people form judgements about a fictitious other that corresponds to this theoretical structure (a) when no value-expressive information is provided (Study 1) and (b) when information about just one value-expressive behavior is provided (Study 2). As expected, we found that when no value-expressive information is provided, people tend to project their own values, but when even one piece of value-expressive information is provided, people use this information to infer the target's values system in a way that reflects the theoretical structure of values, both across and within individuals. Our findings suggest that the structure of human values is so deeply engrained in our psyche that we use it when judging the values of other people with limited behavioral information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112067
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume204
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

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