Features and Classifications of Human Values

  • Values are standards that direct our conduct in various ways. They also provide standards of morality.
  • Values are concerned with the character and conduct of a person.
  • Values are a self-managing mechanism that is not intuitive; instead, they are acquired from surroundings through participatory and anticipatory learning processes.
  • Values are the core of human personality.
  • Values are above specific objects, situations, or persons. (Attitude is towards a particular object, situation, or person). E.g., The value of justice is for everything (while the attitude of justice would be concerning gender, caste etc).
  • Values are expressed less in day-to-day life than in the expression of attitude.
  • Values are relatively stable and enduring. However, intense incidents in life can change the value system. E.g., The value change of Ashoka after the war of Kalinga, Ungalimal, Valmiki etc.

    Classification of Human Values

    1. Intrinsic/End/Terminal value: which has its worth, like justice.
    2. Extrinsic/Mean/Instrumental value: which helps in achieving the end value like courage.

    Terminal and Instrumental Values

    Terminal valuesInstrumental values
    The core permanent values that often become character traits are known as terminal values.   They can be beneficial or harmful.   It is extremely difficult to change them.   Terminal Values are a person’s life objectives- the ultimate things he or she wants to achieve through his or her behaviour.Instrumental values, according to social psychologist Milton Rokeach, are specific modes of behaviour. They are not an end goal in themselves, but rather a means of achieving one.
    Examples-Happiness, self-respect, family security, recognition,
    freedom, inner-harmony, comfortable-life, professional-excellence
    Examples- Courage, Temperance, Hard-working, Patience, Perseverance,      

    Intrinsic values and Extrinsic values

    Intrinsic valuesExtrinsic values  
    An intrinsic value is something valuable in and of itself. It’s a goal in and of itself.An extrinsic value is obtained through the acquisition of another intrinsic value. It is only useful in the sense that it serves as a means to an end.
    Examples: honesty, temperance, courage, happiness, and peace.Examples:  Honesty as an extrinsic values with respect to intrinsic values of integrity

    Institutional values and Individual values

    Institutional valuesIndividual values
    Political, social, economic, and cultural institutions propagate institutional values.Individual values include both intrinsic and extrinsic values that are significant to the person who holds them.
    Examples: Democracy- liberty Marriage- loyaltyExamples: Self-esteem

    Personal Values vs Social Values

    • Personal Values – Important for Individual well-being. Examples of personal values are self-respect, comfortable life, freedom etc.
    • Social Values – Important for other people’s well-being. Examples of social values are equality, social justice, national security, world peace etc.

    Moral, Immoral and Amoral values:

    • Moral values promote right action and honesty, immoral values promote wrong action like greed lead to corruption, amoral values have nothing to do with morality beauty, fitness
    • Different people may have different values.
      • Tribals– conservation of forest
      • Service class– stability
      • Business class-Profit and risk
      • Communist– equality and justice…

     Values can be of different types:

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