Values are evaluative beliefs that people use to make judgments about desirable and undesirable actions, people, and events. The value concept has a long history in the social sciences that spans psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political science. A great deal of research has sought to show that values help shape people’s evaluations of politicians and government policies. Other research has argued that values can be a substitute for abstract ideological reasoning that many people may not be capable of engaging in. This entry discusses the definition of values and value systems and summarizes research linking values to political attitudes and choices.

The Nature of Values

Values are cognitions like attitudes and beliefs, but they can be distinguished from attitudes and beliefs in important ways. As Daryl ...

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