The Evolution of Human Values – A Comparative Study of Values in Adolescents and Emerging Adults
Keywords:Human values, evolution, adolescents, emerging adults.
AbstractFrom pre-history to present days, the evolution of human culture implied the evolution of human values as well. During their lifetime, people develop a set of values and accept certain standards or norms by which their conduct is judged. Although the development of values starts in the early childhood, is not until adolescence that a person builds and defines his or hers own set of values and principles. A sample of 1250 participants, between 16 and 25 years of age, has been assessed with a V21 Questionnaire of Values, from Cognitrom Assessment System. The objectives and hypotheses of the study highlight the existence of differences between the evolution of human values in adolescence and emerging adulthood, based on certain demographic variables, like gender, age, provenience and level of studies. We discovered some statistically significant differences, such as: (1) women value professional recognition, social relationships, autonomy, safety, compliance to rules and challenges, more than men; (2) university students value autonomy more than high-school students; (3) people in urban areas value autonomy more than those in rural areas; (4) emerging adults value autonomy more than teenagers. In the end of the study, there is a debate on the conclusions and practical implication of this research.
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