Age and Personal Values: Similar Value Circles With Shifting Priorities

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Abstract

This study examined the relationship of personal values to age using data from two representative surveys. We hypothesized that individuals organize personal values, regardless of their age, as a circle with the same order of values on this circle but that older persons are closer to conservation and more remote from openness to change and closer to self-transcendence and more distant from self-enhancement. The structural stability of the value circle over age was largely confirmed across and within individuals. Different age groups exhibited a tendency to more strongly cluster those values that they rated as relatively important.

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