Chapter 1: The Values Theory

"The value concept... [is] able to unify the apparently diverse interests of all the sciences concerned with human behavior." [Rok73]

A psychologist wrote these words, which proclaim the centrality of the value concept. Sociologists, e.g. [Wil68], and anthropologists, e.g. [Klu51], have echoed these opinions. These theorists view values as the criteria people use to evaluate actions, people, and events.

This chapter presents a theory within this tradition. The theory1 identifies ten motivationally distinct value orientations that people in all cultures recognize, and it addresses the dynamics of conflict and congruence among these values. It aims to be a unifying theory for the field of human motivation, a way of organizing the different needs, motives, and goals proposed by other theories.