Values as Predictors of Judgments and Behaviors: The Role of Abstract and Concrete Mindsets

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 96, No. 1, pp. 231–247, 2009

17 Pages Posted: 29 May 2009

See all articles by Carlos J. Torelli

Carlos J. Torelli

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Andrew Kaikati

Saint Louis University - Chaifetz School of Business

Date Written: May 28, 2009

Abstract

This research makes strides toward reconciling mixed findings in the value–behavior relation by positing that values are abstract representations of ideal end states that are more likely to influence behavior when individuals think abstractly (vs. concretely) and focus on high- (vs. low-) level motivations for interpreting their actions. In 6 experiments, the authors measured the importance of values (or made them salient via a priming procedure) and simultaneously manipulated accessible mindsets (abstract vs. concrete), and assessed their effect on judgments and behaviors. An abstract (and not a concrete) mindset led participants to engage in judgments or behaviors that were consistent with a broad range of values, including power, benevolence, universalism, self-direction, individualism, and collectivism. These results support the notion that values are more likely to be expressed through value-congruent judgments and behaviors when individuals think abstractly about their actions, and not when they think concretely. Two of the experiments examined the process underlying these effects.

Keywords: values, mindsets, helping, benevolence, power

JEL Classification: M10, M14, M30, M31, M37, M39

Suggested Citation

Torelli, Carlos J. and Kaikati, Andrew, Values as Predictors of Judgments and Behaviors: The Role of Abstract and Concrete Mindsets (May 28, 2009). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 96, No. 1, pp. 231–247, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1411385

Carlos J. Torelli

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Andrew Kaikati (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - Chaifetz School of Business ( email )

Cook Hall
3674 Lindell Blvd
Saint Louis, MO 63108
United States

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