Measuring Values (Tips)

In this brief article, we’ll discuss about “Measuring Values” and will highlight the best questionnaires for measuring values. 


Our values define us, it’s because of the values we have some rules for ourselves.

We learn those values over time and these values are responsible for our actions, emotions, and behavior.

It has been used for researches and exploration in branches of studies like psychology, sociology, philosophy, and education.

There have been some questions in people’s minds that ‘what exactly is value?’ or ‘how do we measure value?’

Well, values are our inner state which we develop and learn with time and our actions are surrounded by it.

There can be two measures of values and those are- measuring possibilities of improvement in self, measuring if the values we inherit are good enough to change our lives and the society?

Our values are derived from our ethics, morals, and principles in life, and they together help us in making decisions and being prepared for the outcomes.

Psychologists believe in the power of values and studies have shown that theses values can change our perception towards the world as it changes us from within and ultimately it affects our reaction.

Our values basically influence our behavior and priorities.

Strong values are considered what we put first and defend most of them.


  • The Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ):

Our personal experiences, learning and environmental influences develop our values.

Our values are crucially important to our inner peace and balance and therefore, going against them brings in a lot of tension and sometimes can be very overwhelming for us.

VLQ revolves around the concept of a value system and it is built on 10 domains of the living and that is to evaluate family, marriage and intimate relationships, parenting, friendship, and interpersonal relationships, professional life, academic life, leisure and recreation, spirituality, citizenship, and self-care.

The VLQ measures three main things and those are- identifying the domains of valued living that we think are most important to us, suggesting how the domains influenced our actions over the last week and finally it evaluates the degree to which our actions are consistent with our values.

If we talk about the validity of the measure, consistency validity is relatively high for the VLQ assessments and the results indicate significant validity of the scores and find greater consistency among the VLQ results of the participants.

VLQ originally evolved as a part of the acceptance and commitment therapy and has now been widely accepted as the measure of estimating the domain of life. It is a self-scorable form and is really quick to administer, it is recorded on a 10-point Likert scale where 1 means ‘not at all’ and 10 means ‘extremely important.’

  • The (Schwartz) Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ):

The Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ) is based on Schwartz’s theory of values. Schwartz explained 10 fundamental individual values influence human actions and these are- 

Self-directional values (defines our goals and ambitions in life) 

Stimulative values (provides energy and vigor to move ahead for accomplishing the aspirations) 

Power values (these come with societal norms, control, and personal resources) 

Security values (which includes personal safety, interpersonal relationships, and self-control)

Conformity values (it operates through agreeableness to societal norms and standards)

Traditional values (which involves respect, support, commitment, and acceptance)

Benevolent values (perseveration and enhancement of the welfare of self and others close to us)

Universal values (it includes appreciation, tolerance and general acceptance)

There are four different versions of The Portrait Values Questionnaire:

  1. A long-form version (PVQ-40), it contains 40 portrait values 
  2. A short-form version (PVQ-21), it contains 21 portrait values
  3. A male version which contains some portrait values and standards unique to the adult male population
  4. A female version containing universal and personal values, unique to the adult female population 

PVQ provides a strong base for self-evaluation and therefore, it is suitable for the children to use it, even young adults.

The short version of PVQ-21 had gone through validity and reliability and it not interfere with the construct validity of the scale, although there were some questions regarding the multi-factor approach of the test.

So far PVQ has been considered one of the universally accepted and valid values assessment scales has proved that the ten values and the four domains of Schwatr’s theory are consistent.

  • The Personal Values Assessment (PVA):

In PVA, values are classified into three sub-types and those are:

  1. Personal Values:

It basically defines who we are, why we think in a certain way and what exactly do we want.

  1. Social Values:

It basically defines the values we have for our social connections and interpersonal bond with others. 

  1. Universal Values:

It basically influences our spiritual thought, cultural standards, and acceptance of our life experiences.

The Personal Values Assessment (PVA) that our personal values influence our self-image, self-acceptance, and our life goals.

It is a straightforward measure which focuses on core values and personal belief system.

PVA is a quick survey and it can be administered very easily. It allows us to understand what is important to us and includes those ideals in our day-to-day activities.

What we have in our minds and how we execute our plans into action with what we hold inside are all parts of the values that we follow.

PVA tries to assess the underlying cause of our actions that we do knowingly or unknowingly.

Though PVA is a self-assessment but it can not be evaluated on our own, a detailed result will be required for the successful completion of the form which ultimately helps us in understanding how well we are connected to our internal standards.

PVA overall helps us in providing an understanding of one’s standards of right and wrong and how he uses the values in order to fulfill the personal, professional and social standards in one’s life.

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In this blog, we’ve discussed “Measuring Values” and have highlighted the best questionnaires for measuring values.

I hope you liked it and feel free to comment below or leave a suggestion, we appreciate your time.


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