10 Types of Values: Principles That Govern Our Lives

10 Types of Values: Principles That Govern Our Lives

Human beings don’t act unpredictably; behind our actions, there are a series of goals, objectives, most of which are shared and can be expressed in words.


But what moves us to act does not have to be simply a specific need related to our physiological states, such as hunger or cold. Being rational animals, we can create new forms of motivation through abstract thinking. We will talk about this in this article: about the types of values, the ideals that we defend on a day-to-day basis.

What are values?

Values ​​are concepts that guide our way of behaving and that link abstract concepts to a positive or negative emotional charge, serving as references about the desirable and the undesirable. Each person has a scale of values ​​that expresses how certain aspects of life are prioritized over others, and which are most vehemently defended.


Thus, a person who has high esteem for the value of peace will have a very different way of seeing things from another person who values ​​survival above peace, or another who defends respect for traditions in the first place. , for example.


There are many types of values, and these are investigated both by cognitive sciences and social psychology and by ethical philosophy, since it must not be forgotten that they are not merely descriptive concepts, but are associated with the ideas of “good ” and bad”.

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Types of securities

Below you can find a classification with the main types of securities. Bear in mind that some of these categories partially overlap each other and that the same value can belong to more than one of them.


1. Personal values

This type of value ​​is defined by being applied in the day-to-day through the simplest actions and, especially, through habits. Consequently, personal values are characterized by being applied to practically all areas and contexts of life, they are not limited to a single place or type of activity.

For example, respect for a son or daughter is usually a personal value, since it is valid in all contexts, but innovation is not usually, since under certain conditions it can be relegated without special internal conflicts.


2. Labor values

Labor values ​​are related to our way of acting in a professional context, that is, in the field of work. For example, it is understood that if the work values ​​of a person do not fit with the values ​​of the company, an implicit conflict is created that generates discomfort in the worker and problems in the operation of the company.

Some examples of labor values ​​are perseverance, innovation, effort, adaptation to change, etc.

3. Company values

What characterizes company values ​​is that they are intended to be both a production style and a component of an organization’s marketing. They are not attached to a natural person, but a legal entity, and therefore do not arise naturally from a real person but are a social construction that influences how the company works (not only in the office but also in Public Relations activities).

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4. Religious values

Religious values are linked to a belief system based on the faith of a particular religion. By definition, religions include a system of symbols, religious dogma, and certain rituals shared by several people, so that religious values ​​are also related to this social factor by which some believers influence the decisions and evaluations of others, many times punishing those who think differently in a conflictive aspect.


5. Family values

This type of value ​​is related to the experience of belonging to a family. With the establishment of the strong affective bonds that characterize the family, there are also values ​​used to put an order in the way in which we do not relate to the other members of the family.

For example, respect for the elderly may be very present in one family, while in another the value of “protection of the weak” may be higher, which causes the grandfather or grandmother to be treated with greater paternalism.


6. Social values

Social values ​​are not limited to a specific social circle, as is the case with family members, but can be extended to the entire population. Respect for the rest of others, which translates into trying to make little noise at night, is a social value, and the same is true with respect for the right to privacy.

7. Political values

Political values ​​have to do with the ideal political model for a person, which has to do with the public management of resources. Individual freedom, for example, is usually one of the values ​​most defended by the liberal political tendency, while universal access to basic goods is usually more demanded by the left.

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8. Aesthetic values

This set of values has to do with forms of sensory perception and how these induce certain aesthetic appreciations. For this reason, they are especially important in art, but they are not limited to this area, since they are also relevant in crafts and in design in general, whether artistic or not.

Simplicity, harmony, or a taste for the strange are aesthetic values.

9. Ethical values

Those values ​​related to morality are the aesthetic ones, principles that serve to distinguish in a relatively clear way between good and evil and that is, in a certain sense, a priori: they do not have so much to do with a specific context or with the utility of one strategy over another but have value on their own.

Respect and peace are ethical values.


10. Material values

Material values ​​designate which material aspects of life have value over others. For example, some people voluntarily live on very little, while others, despite being middle class, feel great frustration at not being able to afford a lot of great luxuries.


Bibliographic references:

  • Kelly, E. (2006). The Basics of Western Philosophy. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press
  • Miller, C. (2009). The Conditions of Moral Realism. The Journal of Philosophical Research, 34: pp. 123-155.
  • Paul, R .; Elder, L. (2006). The Miniature Guide to Understanding the Foundations of Ethical Reasoning. United States: Foundation for Critical Thinking Free Press.
  • Tong, R .; Williams, Na. (2009). Feminist Ethics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Metaphysics Research Lab.


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