More Respect And Less Security: The Changing Social Values In America

More Respect And Less Security: The Changing Social Values In America

What are the core social values we most desire? A marketing survey reveals.

Naresh Kumar
  • 10 june 2010

A study by a University of Oregon marketing team has come up with some interesting findings about the changing social values of Americans over the last 30 years. More than 1,500 people (all adults) across the US participated in the survey which was last undertaken in 2007 and compared to nearly identical surveys conducted in 1976 and 1986.

Among the most significant changes as revealed by the study is the desire for self-respect, which has risen over the last two decades. Security, which was the top core value in 1976, has decreased in importance through the years. The desire for warm relationships and fun & excitement also rose over the years.

Innovations Report mentions the researchers’ thoughts on the survey:

Security and sense of belonging decreased in importance since 1986,” said the new study’s lead author Eda Gurel-Atay, a doctoral student working with Lynn R. Kahle, Professor of Marketing in the UO’s Lundquist College of Business. We found that people want respect for themselves and they want to be important to other people. The rapid emergence of social media, not factored into the study, may help to explain the shift in social values. On the other hand, the nation’s recession may have put the value of security back on people’s radar screen.

The survey was conducted to better understand people, who are their target audience, and come up with strategies for products most useable to them.

Lundquist College of Business-University of Oregon

Innovations Report: “Americans want self-respect, more than ever”

Image by Rev. Voodoo


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