Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Psychologisches Institut » Entwicklungspsychologie: Erwachsenenalter » Prof. Dr. Alexandra M. Freund » Ritter

Completed research project

Title / Titel Value orientation over the life span
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Values are generally regarded as guiding principles people consider important for their lives. In this research project, we investigate the notion of value-guiding principles by addressing the question concerning how and when values actually guide behavior and thought. With regard to the first part of the question (how?), we assume that value orientation has specific cognitive, emotional, and behavioral consequences that stem directly from structural and functional properties of values as parts of the cognitive system. With regard to the second part of the question (when?), we adopt a life-span perspective to follow the change in the impact of values on behavior and thought over the life course. We hypothesize that this impact is relatively high in adolescence and young adulthood as well as in old adulthood compared to the degree of impact in middle adulthood. We regard differences in the extension of time perspective as one possible explanation of this relation between life phase and value orientation. Whereas young adults have a relatively wide and general view on their proper future lives, middle-aged adults have a more focused and detailed view. In old age, this perspective broadens again with regard to the personal life extended to the past. We assume that the broad, general view fosters the use of an abstract, rule-like consideration as values and, in contrast, that the focused view calls for more pragmatic strategies, like taking details and consequences into account. We are planning to examine these assumptions both by sequential, survey-based as well as experimental designs.
Keywords / Suchbegriffe Values; value orientation; time perspective; lifespan development
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Dipl.-Psych. Johannes O. Ritter (Project Leader)
Prof. Dr. Alexandra M. Freund
Other links to external web pages
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
Universität Zürich (position pursuing an academic career)
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Mar 2005 to Feb 2008