Circular predictions

In chapter 1 we discussed how the circular structure of relations among the ten values enables us to relate the full set of values to other variables in an organized, integrated way, see Figure 1.1. The structure implies that any behaviour that relates positively to values on one side of the circle (e.g., power and achievement) is likely to relate negatively to values on the opposite side of the circle (e.g., universalism and benevolence). Ordinarily, relations of behaviour with values decrease around the circle monotonically, from the most to the least positively associated value. This helps in predicting and interpreting value-behaviour relations because it highlights a critical aspect of the way values enter into behavioural choices. Most behaviours have positive implications for some values but, simultaneously, negative implications for opposing values. If he takes the new job, Joe will behave in a way that expresses his self-direction, stimulation, and achievement values, but that also goes against protecting security, conformity, tradition, and benevolence values.

Typically, the consequences of behaviour promote the expression or attainment of one set of values at the expense of the opposing values in the circle. Behaviour (and attitudes) is guided not by the priority given to a single value but by trade-offs among competing values that are implicated simultaneously in the behaviour [Sch92] [Tet86]. To predict behaviour successfully, we must consider the importance of the values the behaviour will harm as well as those it will promote. The circular value structure helps to identify the competing values. The probability of behaviour depends on the relative priority a person gives to the relevant, competing values.