Values can be defined as trans-situational goals that serve as guiding principles in the life of a person or group (Schwartz, 1992). According to this definition, values are concepts or beliefs that act as standards of what is most desirable when evaluating events, behaviors, and persons. Values differ from attitudes in that they transcend specific situations, are ordered in a person in a hierarchy of importance, set standards of desirability, and are less numerous and more central to personality than are attitudes
This research group aims to increase the knowledge on value structure and content, and how self-presentational strategies (e.g., socially desirable responding) may influence these. We are also interested in developing the measurement techniques of values and self-presentation. To take some examples from our work on measurement, our group has developed a shorter version of Schwartz’ Value Scale, introduced European norms for presenting results on the Portrait Values Questionnaire in two-dimensional space, and developed the Short Five (S5) personality inventory.
Currently, we are working on the relations between values and behavior. Our research suggests that values do predict behavior, as indicated for instance by peer reports of altruism or by decisions in experimental economic games, but that conformity to social norms moderates these connections.