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      Zeitgeist Effects, Fragmentation of Media Use, and Value Consensus


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          Finland changed from an industrial society to an information society in 1991-2015. Due to economic fluctuations, diffusion of digitalization and media turbulence the period changed Finnish society a lot. We studied the impact of this on basic human values with Schwartz’s approach, and concentrated on zeitgeist effects. We developed a definition of zeitgeist effects and a set of hypotheses, based on the literature, to study how major societal changes influence values. Also, we found theoretical similarities between value consensus, democratization and the fragmentation of media use that we analyzed. Data (N = 7.172) were collected in five waves. We measured changes in the ten values, and used the two value dimensions based on factor analysis, also. Moreover, we used the Schwartz value map to illustrate value changes in social groups. The combination of the latter two methods offer a parsimonious way to get an overview of value change over a longer period of time, but single values suit better for the analysis of short-term changes. Our hypotheses received support regarding overall change that is small, as well as regarding zeitgeist effects in the 1990s, the disappearance of them in the new millennium, and how the values of social groups started to change in different directions in the era of social media. The above changes including the disappearance of zeitgeist effects in the new millennium were linked to societal events, e.g. fragmentation of media use. Moreover, we found that in a complex society zeitgeist effects might mirror simultaneous impact of several events.

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          An Overview of the Schwartz Theory of Basic Values

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            Toward a universal psychological structure of human values.

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              Refining the theory of basic individual values.

              We propose a refined theory of basic individual values intended to provide greater heuristic and explanatory power than the original theory of 10 values (Schwartz, 1992). The refined theory more accurately expresses the central assumption of the original theory that research has largely ignored: Values form a circular motivational continuum. The theory defines and orders 19 values on the continuum based on their compatible and conflicting motivations, expression of self-protection versus growth, and personal versus social focus. We assess the theory with a new instrument in 15 samples from 10 countries (N = 6,059). Confirmatory factor and multidimensional scaling analyses support discrimination of the 19 values, confirming the refined theory. Multidimensional scaling analyses largely support the predicted motivational order of the values. Analyses of predictive validity demonstrate that the refined values theory provides greater and more precise insight into the value underpinnings of beliefs. Each value correlates uniquely with external variables.

                Author and article information

                J Soc Polit Psych
                Journal of Social and Political Psychology
                J. Soc. Polit. Psych.
                07 April 2020
                : 8
                : 1
                : 300-332
                [a ]Independent Researcher, University of Helsinki , Helsinki, Finland
                [b ]Department of Psychology and Logopedics, University of Helsinki , Helsinki, Finland
                [3]Philipps University Marburg, Marburg, Germany
                Author notes
                [* ]Viputie 11 C 6, 02940 Espoo, Finland. martti@ 123456puohiniemi.fi
                Copyright @ 2020

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 14 December 2018
                : 31 October 2019
                Original Research Reports

                zeitgeist effects,digitalization,Schwartz’s value map,value consensus,age-education groups,value change,societal change,democratization,fragmentation of media use


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