Testing the Equivalence of Values in Europe with the New PVQ-RR Scale

Monday, July 14, 2014: 4:00 PM
Room: 416
Oral Presentation
Eldad DAVIDOV , University of Zurich, Switzerland
Investigating whether European societies share common values requires that the values are in the first place comparable. Since its inception in 2002 the European Social Survey (ESS) has included a short version of 21 questions to measure ten basic human values (Schwartz 1992). This enabled studying European values across countries and over time. Studies assessing whether and to what extent these values are comparable across European societies have led to partly disappointing results: Whereas it could be shown that associations between values and other theoretical constructs of interest may be meaningfully compared across countries, statistical tests of equivalence demonstrated that value means may not be comparable. Methodologists have suggested that this finding was a consequence of the efforts of the ESS to maintain value coverage while using nonhomogeneous items to measure each value. This might change now. In 2012 Schwartz and colleagues have proposed a refined value theory with 19 more finely distinguished values and a new instrument, PVQ-5X with 57 questions to measure these values. This scale has better reliability properties of the older ESS instrument, it takes only 2-3 minutes longer to complete, and most importantly, first results suggest that it displays better equivalence properties across countries and may allow comparing means of at least some of the values across some European countries. The current study investigates the comparability of values in Europe with this new instrument, and enquires if sufficient levels of equivalence are achieved, to study the similarity, commonality or uniqueness of value priorities across European societies.