Self-expression values in connection with human behaviour: the results of exploratory research


The article presents results of search for self-expression values behavioral indicators. The results were obtained during two pilot studies among experts and the first year students (Sociology major) of three universities (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU), National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” (NaUKMA), National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” (KPI)). In order to measure “self-expression values” author has chosen six values that are grouped together on the motivational continuum of Schwartz’s values as the “Openness to Change” (self-direction – thought and action, stimulation) and “Self-Enhancement” (achievement, power-resources, power-dominance). The values of “openness to change” and “self-enhancement” are important for understanding youth’s mood, readiness for action, desire for change, success, decision-making, independence of thought, and expression of will. “Openness to change” and “self- enhancement”, not the passivity of youth and the lack of indifference, in the long run, have impact on the overall development of the country. Within the framework of two exploratory studies, the possible options of actions, which are the most striking expressions of the person’s described characteristics of having one of the six values, are collected to verify the connection between the value of self-expression and behavioral aspects.

During the first pilot study, around 30 examples of behavioral indicators were collected, which served as empirical material for the development of questions. As a result, the developed questions were tested in the framework of the second study and revealed a significant link between the frequency of action and values: the manifestation of behavior expressed through the value of “Self-direction – Action” – to make decisions that would be contrary to the interests of others, forbidden or from which they would be discouraged by the surrounding persons and “Power – Dominance” – forcing someone to accept their position or agree with their opinion, even if others did not share it.

The other four indicators do not have meaningful relationship with the frequency of reproducible behavior, but the study also allowed to collect the fan of answers that are examples of behavioral manifestations of a person: expression of their own opinion (position), which would be fundamentally different from the thoughts of others (the proposed manifestation of behavior, expressed through the value of “Self-direction – Thought”), having leisure (rest) (“Stimulation”), in order to be successful in professional lif, necessity to study something to develop own professional skills (“Achievements”), offering themselves as a leader/organizer of any activities/initiatives, associated with fundraising, income, etc (“Power resources”).

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