The term value has two related yet distinct meanings. The value of an object or activity is what the object or activity is worth to a person or community; this is the economic or decision-making meaning of value. In its social-psychological meaning, by contrast, a value is an abstract, desirable end state that people strive for or aim to uphold, such as freedom, loyalty, or tradition. Only this second meaning is used in the plural form values, and public and political discussions refer to such values in many ways, speaking of the decline of values, a clash of values, or an election being about values. This entry describes the ways in which human values in the second sense select for certain attitudes, goals, and preferences ...

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