The Nature of Human Values

Rokeach Values Survey

Developed by Milton Rokeach in 1973, the purpose of the Rokeach Values Survey is to classify human values and help individuals better understand what is important to them. Values themselves are not seen, instead one can see the behaviors associated with what people value.

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There are two types of values in this survey:

· Terminal Values: Terminal values represent desired end states. Something a person would like to achieve in their own lifetime. Examples would be true friendship, mature love, national security, world peace, salvation, a comfortable life. Terminal values are achievable items.

· Instrumental Values: Instrumental values represent “modes of behavior.” In other words, they are means of achieving your terminal values. (Think of these values as instruments by which you accomplish your terminal values). Examples include ambition, love, self-control, politeness, honesty, independence. The focus of instrumental values is on acting in a manner to achieve the value.

Complete a Rokeach Values Survey for yourself by ranking the Rokeach Values listed in the table below in order of importance. Focus on only one set of values at a time.

· Ranking Terminal Values: Begin by focusing only on the list of terminal values. Select the value that is most important to you. As you go through the list of terminal values, rank each value from most to least importance for you with 1 being most important and 18 being least important to you. Work through the list of terminal values until all terminal values are assigned a ranking.

· Ranking Instrumental Values: When you have finished ranking your terminal values, proceed to the list of instrumental values, and rank each in the same way as your terminal values with a ranking of 1 for the most important instrumental value, and 18 for the least important instrumental value.

Once you have completed ranking all 18 terminal values and all 18 instrumental values, make sure to make note of both your top values in each category. You will submit a copy of the completed survey to the assignment dropbox.


Rokeach Values Survey


Terminal Values Rank Instrumental Values Rank
A World at Peace (Free of War and Conflict) 3 Ambitious (Hard-Working, Aspiring) 1
Family Security (Taking Care of Loved Ones) 5 Broadminded (Open-Minded) 16
Freedom (Independence, Free Choice) 10 Capable (Competent, Effective) 8
Equality (Brotherhood, Equal Opportunity for All) 4 Cheerful (Lighthearted, Joyful) 18
Self-Respect (Self-Esteem) 11 Clean (Neat, Tidy) 10
Happiness (Contentedness) 13 Courageous (Standing Up for Your Beliefs) 15
Wisdom (A Mature Understanding of Life) 12 Forgiving (Willing to Pardon Others) 14
National Security (Protection From Attack) 6 Helpful (Working for The Welfare of Others) 6
Salvation (Saved, Eternal Life) 2 Honest (Sincere, Truthful) 4
True Friendship (Close Companionship) 18 Imaginative (Daring, Creative) 11
A Sense of Accomplishment (A Lasting Contribution) 9 Independent (Self-Reliant, Self Sufficient) 5
Inner Harmony (Freedom From Inner Conflict) 16 Intellectual (Intelligent, Reflective) 13
A Comfortable Life (A Prosperous Life) 1 Logical (Consistent, Rational) 9
Mature Love (Sexual and Spiritual Intimacy) 8 Loving (Affectionate, Tender) 7
A World of Beauty (Beauty of Nature and the Arts) 15 Obedient (Dutiful, Respectful) 12
Pleasure (An Enjoyable Leisurely Life) 14 Polite (Courteous, Well-Mannered) 17
Social Recognition (Respect, Admiration) 7 Responsible (Dependable, Reliable) 3
An Exciting Life (A Stimulating Active Life) 17 Self-Controlled (Restrained, Self-Discipline) 2



This resource was adapted from The Nature of Human Values, by Milton Rokeach, published by The Free Press (1973). Copyright 1973 by The Free Press, a division of Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.

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