The Structure of Intraindividual Value Change

A. Bardi, Julie Lee, N. Hofmann-Towfigh, Geoff Soutar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Citations (Scopus)


Values are assumed to be relatively stable during adulthood. Yet, little research has examined value stability and change, and there are no studies on the structure of value change. On the basis of S. H. Schwartz’s (1992) value theory, the authors propose that the structure of intraindividual value change mirrors the circumplexlike structure of values so that conflicting values change in opposite directions and compatible values change in the same direction. Four longitudinal studies, varying in life contexts, time gaps, populations, countries, languages, and value measures, supported the proposed structure of intraindividual value change. An increase in the importance of any one value is accompanied by slight increases in the importance of compatible values and by decreases in the importance of conflicting values. Thus, intraindividual changes in values are not chaotic, but occur in a way that maintains Schwartz’s value structure. Furthermore, the greater the extent of life-changing events, the greater the value change found, whereas age was only a marginal negative predictor of value change when life events were taken into account. Implications for the structure of personality change are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-929
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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