When we look at the average values in society, we might think that everyone, or at least most people reflect this. But, in reality, the people in our study reported a wide range of values as being the most personally important to them.
Our values reflect what is important to us in life. They are often referred to as our personal guiding principles or life goals. While we may have a variety of shorter term goals that are specific to a situation, like getting a job or a promotion, running a marathon, or visiting Hawaii, our values are life-goals that not specific to any one situation. Values guide our behaviour in all aspects of our life, including our home life, our work life and our social life.
Personal values indicate what matters most to people, such as having security, or freedom, or pleasure, or to promote the welfare of other people. Obviously, all of these things are “good”, but it is important to know that people differ on what is most important to them.