Beliefs and values are essential constructs in understanding human social interactions. Beliefs refer to the judgments people make about themselves, others, and the world around them. Values are a person’s principles or standards of behavior. Values create the foundation for judging what is important in one’s life, and serve as the foundation for human action and motivation. People’s thoughts and actions are constantly being impacted by their beliefs and values. Individuals, groups, social institutions, and societies can be understood in terms of their values and beliefs. These concepts impact people at all levels: interpersonal relationships and economic, social, political, and legal institutions. Human beings hold their beliefs to be true and their values to be important. This entry focuses on the impact of beliefs and ...

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