Chapter 7Values and Well-Being


Authors' Note. This project was supported by a grant to the first author from the Recanati Fund of the School of Business Administration at the Hebrew University.

Personal values are abstract desirable goals that guide individuals throughout their lives (e.g., Kluckhohn, 1951; Rohan, 2000; Rokeach, 1973; Schwartz, 1992). People tend to be very satisfied with their values. They perceive them as close to their ideal and ought selves and do not wish to change them (Roccas, Sagiv, Oppenheim, Elster, & Gal, 2014). Values are intimately linked to well-being: It is sufficient to think about one's values in order to increase a sense of “self-integrity” (Steele, 1988). When people think about their values, they feel that they are competent and moral (e.g., Koole, Smeets, van Knippenberg, & Dijksterhuis, 1999). Thinking about one's important values improves coping with stress, reduces rumination following failure, and increases tolerance for pain (e.g., Branstetter-Rost, Cushing, & Douleh, 2009; for a review, see Sherman & Cohen, 2006). However, people differ in their personal values, and these differences predict a large variety of behaviors, attitudes, and emotions (see reviews in Hitlin & Piliavin, 2004; Maio, 2010; Roccas & Sagiv, 2010). Do people who differ in their values also differ in their well-being? Are some values especially beneficial to happiness and well-being, whereas other values risk ...

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